All Posts By

staenkerliese

Beauty

2017 BEAUTY FAVORITES

We are a week in already, but I still have to share my favorite beauty products of 2017! It’s definitely been a good one with lots of new launches, trends and brands, so I wanted to share my highlights of the past year.

Eyeshadow-wise, I really stepped up my game this year. I used to only wear it occasionally, but through the whole year, I made an effort almost every single day. I am still a more natural kinda girl though, so I don’t go full glam with dark smokey eyes and whatnot, but I was really into my neutral eyeshadow palettes. My fave from this year was by far the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette. First of all, I love peaches and everything that smells like them, so that was a no-brainer for me, but the color selection and payoff is the thing that I love about this palette the most. You can use this everyday, and still manage to create new looks for weeks. Love! For my base (I have super oily eyelids) I loved the combination of the NARS eyeshadow base and the MAC Paint Pot in ‘Painterly’.

I tried a couple of different foundations this year and It was quite hard to pick just one, so I ended up picking two.. Uhm. I went with the L’Oreal Pro Glow as well as the The Ordinary Full Coverage Foundation. It’s a bummer that you can still not get the Pro Glow outside of North America afaik, but it’s the perfect base for everyday. The coverage is really nice and it gives a subtle glow to the skin, but still doesn’t make me look greasy. Win! If you can’t get hold of this one, I’d recommend the Full Coverage Foundation by The Ordinary. It has very good coverage but still doesn’t make your skin look cakey and it’s even cheaper than the Pro Glow. Yay!

My concealer pick was the easiest one: NARS Soft Matte all the way. I used this every. single. day. since I bought it. It covers perfectly and feels amazing on the skin. Expensive, but it does go a long way! Highly recommend. (I do love Tarte Shape Tape, but as I can’t wear this under my eyes, the winner had to be NARS!)

I don’t have a powder favorite, but my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Vol 2 from 2016 is glorious. Hourglass’ powders are just the best and I really used it a lot. It still looks like I barely touched it though, so I don’t feel as bad to recommend such an incredibly expensive product as it does last forever. It’s definitely something special, but if you feel like treating yourself, I’d highly recommend all powders Hourglass does.

Even though I used the blushes in the Hourglass Palette a lot during 2017, I reached for Tarte ‘Exposure’ the most, especially in the colder months. Their blushes are amazing and if I wouldn’t own way too many beauty stuff already, I would definitely pick up more shades. For my highlighter, I picked BECCA’s Moonstone as this is just the perfect shade for me. It gives an amazing glow without being too much, which is exactly what I want (it was a hard decision between this and the Glossier Haloscope in ‘Quartz’ though!).

For mascara, I mainly used the Catrice Glam & Doll Waterproof as it’s the only one that holds the curl of my stubborn lashes. I often topped it with a more volumizing one though, so hopefully I’ll find my perfect mascara in 2018! Brows-wise, the combo of the NYX eyebrow pencil as well as the Glossier Boy Brow is the perfect one for me. I use both of them every day, and don’t see my stopping that anytime soon (Glossier, can you PLEASE finally come to Austria or at least Germany? I need you!).

For lips, I couldn’t pick just one, I’m sorry. I absolutely LOVED the Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipsticks in ‘Desert’, ‘Sand’ and ‘Vineyard’. This is just such an amazing formula – not drying, and even though it is not matte, it still lasts a decent amount of time on your lips. And the scent! I want them all. I also wore (again, second year in a row!) NYX’ Matte Lip Cream in ‘Stockholm’ a ton. They brought out new shades and I recently picked up Rome and Budapest, so let’s see how my favorites for 2018 will look like. For liquid lipsticks, I definitely wore ‘Bestie’ by Tarte and ‘Pasadena’ by OFRA the most. My last and probably biggest favorite of 2017 has to be the Glossier Birthday Balm Dot Com. I adore this so much and if I had to choose one Glossier product to repurchase, it would be definitely this one. Love, love, love.

Bring it on, 2018!

Beauty

SEPHORA’S GIVE ME SOME NUDE LIP | SWATCHES

I am a nude lip kinda girl, that’s for sure. When I saw the Give Me Some Nude Lip Kit on Sephora while I was in the US, I had to get my hands on it. I rarely use up a lip product these days, so I am always up for some minis! It contains six different kinds of lip colors, one of them is a full size. Before I purchased this kit, I didn’t know any of these formulas except one, so I was really excited to try them.

Let’s start with the full size and also the only product in here that I don’t really like. The Ciaté London Liquid Velvet Moisturizing Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bitter Sweet is just not for me. I don’t know if it’s too grey for my skin tone or what it is, but I just look dead when I wear it. Also, the formula is not my fav as it doesn’t dry down completely and it really shows off every little imperfection on my lips. I will still try to make it work though as I think the color itself is quite unique!

The second liquid lipstick is the only formula that I already knew: Kat von D‘s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig. I wore this almost every single day since I came back from holiday – it’s just so pretty! It’s the perfect 90s pinky-brown that will suit a lot of people. Kat von D does one of my favorite liquid lipstick formulas; they aren’t too drying, but last on the lips for a long time. I would (as always with this kind of lipsticks) still recommend to wear a lip balm underneath, it’s just a lot more comfortable during the day. I ate a whole pizza and it was still looking good afterwards; that’s what I call a good lipstick!

When I didn’t wear Ludwig, I wore this. The MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Rouge in C211 is simply gorgeous and your perfect everyday shade. It is my first lipstick from MUF, and definitely not my last! The formula is super creamy and the color payoff is truly amazing. It has a satin finish, so it’s not matte and quite comfortable to wear. They are slightly drying, so I would also recommend moisturizing your lips before applying them like you would with a matte lipstick.

The Bite Beauty Multistick in Brioche basically looks like autumn to me. You could wear these multisticks on your eyes, cheeks, and lips, but I only tried it as a lipstick so far. On me, I wouldn’t call this a nude though as it’s pretty bold, but the color is amazing and pretty unique. The formula is very creamy, lasts well on the lips and as someone who’s got really oily eyelids, I am excited to try these out as an eyeshadow as well!

I love Tarte, and this lipstick formula has been on my shopping list for ages. The Rainforest of the Sea Color Splash Lipstick in Rum Punch is a real nude to me. When I think about nude lips, this is what comes to my mind immediately. The formula is really hydrating, and it still lasts for 3-4 hours on my lips which isn’t bad at all! Rum Punch is definitely also a color that would look really nice in spring and summer!

And last, but not least: the Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Dolly. Lip cream is a bit misleading in my opinion as this is just a pigmented lip gloss with a slight tingle after application. I am not really decided yet if I like it or not as I am just not a lip gloss girl, but the color is so gorgeous that I still want to make it work. I definitely need to try this one again if it’s not as windy and my hair doesn’t stick to it like crazy.

The Give Me Some Nude Lip Kit is currently sold for $28 ($70 value) at Sephora. I would highly recommend to pick it up if you are a nude lipstick lover just like me!

Beauty

MY GLOSSIER HAUL & SHOWROOM EXPERIENCE

*swish*

Yep, that was the sound of me jumping on the Glossier bandwagon. As soon as I saw the first product shots of Glossier, I pretty much fainted. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I got really, really excited. Everything looked not just pretty, but fresh and easy. Glossier still has a quite minimal approach and not too many products, so it’s simple and you don’t get overwhelmed by the selection. And don’t get me started on their branding and marketing.. it’s love, people.

After we decided we wanted to go to NYC again, I knew right away where I definitely wanted to shop: the Glossier showroom. I wrote myself a little list what I wanted to get and headed there the next day after we got to New York. The shop itself is really lovely and represents the brand perfectly – everything is super clean, bright, pink and chic. The girls that work there wear pink jumpsuits (which btw look like pajamas – can I wear that at work too, please?) and run around with their little notepad to write down what you’d like to buy. That’s the only thing that I didn’t like that much – I would have much preferred to write it down myself. This way, I had to remember all the shade names and felt like a crazy person to read out my little list I made on my phone. As soon as your list is done, you can go to the checkout and they will grab your products, put them into these super useful pink pouches that everybody loves and you’re done.

What I picked up

I got a little too excited, maybe. I bought quite a lot of stuff, some of it even in three different shades, but let’s be honest, you can’t get your hands on these products in Germany or Austria yet, so I kind of had to. (Right?)

Let’s start with the product I was most excited for: the Generation G lipsticks ($18 each). I got three shades: Like, Cake, and Crush, but I could have bought them all. The shade selection is right up my street – lovely nudes, pinks and reds. Nothing too bright, super wearable and this packaging is giving me life. They are sheer, but buildable and perfect for everyday!

I got Cake as part of the Phase 2 Set ($40), which also contains Boy Brow (an eyebrow gel) and the Stretch Concealer. I can’t say too much about Boy Brow yet, but the concealer is really nice. However, if you are someone who’s got a lot to cover up under your eyes, I would recommend to stay away. The coverage is quite sheer, so it won’t cover very dark circles and you’d probably enjoy something like the Soft Matte Complete Concealer by NARS a lot more.

I also picked up their Wowder ($22), which just recently launched. It is a loose, skin-colored powder that is available in three shades. You can also pick up a brush, which felt really lovely, but I got a lot of brushes already and there was just no need to pick up another one. I tried the powder once and like it so far, but I will definitely report back if it’s really worth the $ in a little while.

Let’s talk about their liquid blushes: the Cloud Paints ($18) are available in four shades. I got Beam and Dusk (it’s cheaper if you buy 2), but I truly loved them all. You can also mix them and create your own shade (like paint.. duh). They blend very easily and are not too pigmented, which is a huge plus for me when it comes to blushes.

The Haloscope ($22) was probably the first Glossier product that really got me thinking ‘I need that!” when I saw it online. And here it is! I picked up Quartz, which is a light pink. It gives a very dewy, but not too glittery effect to the skin. Personally, I didn’t like Moonstone that much when I swatched it, it was just a bit too light and silvery for me.

And last, but certainly not least: the Balm Dotcom ($12). Yep, I got three. I only wanted to get Cherry, but then I tried it out in  ‘Birthday’, totally fell in love and then the lady at the checkout told me that if you get three, you basically just pay a couple more $ and pay almost nothing, so.. here we go. (Can you tell that I really enjoyed my time in there?)

It is basically a semi-matte balm that will hydrate your lips (you could theoretically use it everywhere though). It has a super thick consistency and I only tried it a couple of times yet, but I can already tell that I really, really like it. It feels super lovely and the tint that Cherry gives is perfect for everyday.

That’s it. (For now. *cough*) I also had their Perfecting Skin Tint on my list, but when I tried it in the store, it just blended into nothing. The coverage is really sheer, so if you have nothing to cover up at all, you will enjoy it – otherwise, probably not so much. I didn’t buy any skincare besides the Balm Dotcom, but as soon as Glossier starts shipping to Germany or Austria, I will definitely try some of it (Milky Jelly Cleanser, I am looking at you!). Let’s hope for 2018!

Beauty

MY FAVORITE MAKEUP BRUSHES

Having good makeup brushes is probably the most important thing when it comes to beauty stuff – you can have the most expensive and lovely foundation, but if you apply it with a bad brush, it’ll look just awful anyway.

The good thing is, you don’t necessarily have to invest in expensive brushes since there are brands like Zoeva and Real Techniques these days. I also tried a couple of brushes from Ebelin (a German brand you can get in the drugstore here), which are very cheap, but not always great. If you are just starting off using makeup or don’t wear it on a daily basis, I would recommend their brushes though – one of them even made it into my favorites! Also, their blending brush is pretty lovely.

A couple of years ago, I’ve sworn by the Real Techniques Stippling Brush and Expert Face Brush to apply foundation, but since the Beauty Blender came into my life, I’ve never looked back. It just looks a lot more dewy and natural on the skin, and even though I also use the Miracle Complexion Sponge by Real Techniques quite often, I just find the original Beauty Blender way better. It’s quite pricey for a sponge, but it’s just so good.

Eyeshadow-wise, I swear by Zoeva. I use the 221 as well as the 227 every single day for my powder eyeshadows. They are perfect for applying, but especially for blending eyeshadows. For cream eyeshadow, I used to apply those with my fingers only, but now I much prefer to use the Zoeva Concealer Buffer. It works perfectly fine and as I never liked it for my concealer anyway, I’m glad it has found its new purpose!

DSC_0110-1

Speaking of concealers: I normally just use my Beauty Blender, but lately I do a little combo between a brush and a sponge. For that, I always use my Sephora Airbrush Concealer Brush – it’s so nice! Sephora do really great brushes as far as I can tell, but they are pretty pricey, so I never took the splurge and bought another one so far.

The Real Techniques Setting Brush is probably my favorite brush as I use it for two things: applying highlighter and setting my under eye area with powder. It’s quite cheap, very soft and just super handy to have. Another Real Techniques Brush I really like is the powder brush, as it basically covers my whole face and makes setting your makeup very quick and easy. And on top of that, it’s just so soft!

For applying blush, I mainly use my Blusher Brush from H&M. I don’t know if they still do this, but if they do, grab it while you can! I also use an eyeshadow brush from them and it’s pretty nice, too. If you can’t get hold off this one, I would recommend the Blush Brush from Ebelin. The one I got was in a limited edition as far as I know, but also their regular one does the job really well!

DSC_0106-1

And last, but not least: the softest brush in my collection! The Kiko Stippling Brush (106) is my favorite brush for applying bronzer. It’s amazing! I bought it in the sale (and I even went back and bought another one a day later), because they discontinued this specific one, but they do a very similar one now.

What are your favorite brushes? Let me know :)

 

Recipes

BLUEBERRY BROWNIES

Brownies are one of my favorite things to make, but I normally tend to stay away from too much chocolate and do something like the Cheesecake Brownies I showed you on the blog last year. I read that you can easily substitute a bit of chocolate as well as butter with blueberries though to make them extra juicy, so I just gave it a go and it was de-licious! They were completely gone in under 24hrs and I will definitely make them again very, very soon. Here’s what you need:

250g blueberries (fresh)
125g butter
120g flour
4 eggs
130g cane sugar
80g milk chocolate
80g dark chocolate (I used 64%)
1 pkg. vanilla sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the chocolate frosting, I just bought one from the shop, but of course you can do your own one with the chocolate of your choice and some butter!

First, pre-heat the oven at 180°C (356°F).

Melt the chocolate together with the butter over the water bath. While it melts, mix the eggs, cane sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla sugar together. Now add the flour. When the chocolate has melted entirely, let it cool down, then add it to the mixture. Now gently add the blueberries.

Let it bake for 30-35mins and enjoy. Super quick and easy – perfect for a Sunday afternoon!

Photography

Oh, Boston.

When we planned our trip to the US last year, we knew we’d start off in NYC, but the rest was pretty unclear. I am probably one of the biggest Gilmore Girls fans out there, so my dream was to go to Connecticut and wander through New Haven and Hartford (even though the series was never really filmed there, but just let’s pretend it was, shall we?). That’s why we decided to rent a car in New York and drive up through Connecticut, stay there for a night and head to Boston. It is just a 4 hour drive from NYC and SO worth a visit.

two-1

DSC_0249-9

My highlights were probably the whale watching, exploring the city in general and last but definitely not least: Cambridge. We only had 3.5 days in Boston, which if I had the chance to do it again, I would definitely stay longer. There’s just so much to see, eat and explore, that you don’t want to leave so soon.

Harvard | Campus

DSC_0166-4

two-2

And by the way, if you are planning to drive to Boston by car, make sure to stop in Newport, RI. We didn’t even plan to go there, but as we drove around the area we spotted this little gem and oh my god, it looks like a movie set. My boyfriend & I totally fell in love with this beautiful town and I could seriously picture myself living there. The beach, the houses.. Aww.

DSC_0851-1

Even if it kind of hurts to look at these pictures (I wanna go back so bad!), I can’t recommend going to Boston enough. There’s just so much to explore!

 

Beauty Monthly Favorites

BEAUTY FAVORITES | APRIL

April went by so quickly! While I am on my way home from London, I just wanted to finally do a favorites post again. Even if spring only made a short little appearance this month, I loved to wear a bit more color than usual – especially on my lips.

Lancôme launched their new Matte Shakers a couple of weeks ago and as one of my favorite YouTubers raved about this product a whole lot, I gave in and picked up “Energy Peach“. I googled swatches before deciding which one to buy, but on my lips it’s showing up totally different and quite bright. It’s definitely not a nude or subtle shade, more of a bright orangey-red. The formula is completely different to my other matte liquid lipsticks. It doesn’t dry down completely and is therefore not as long-lasting as others, but that also means that they are not as drying on the lips.

Another lipstick I picked up recently was “In The Flesh” by Wet n Wild. Apparently this is also a dupe for Tom Ford’s “Casablanca”, but I just stumbled upon this on Amazon and liked the color. It’s absolutely gorgeous and wears very beautifully, especially for the price! A lovely everyday and quite long-lasting lipstick for under 4 euro? I’m in.

As the weather gets warmer now, I also use a lot more creams instead of powders. I recently came across this Kiko cream blush in the shade 01 from their Less is Better collection and was very intrigued by the color itself. It applies very nicely with the Beautyblender, even though you need quite a lot of product which is the only downside to it, but for under 10 euro that’s something I can live with. A very lovely shade for spring!

April Favs Swatches

For my face, I went back to the L’Oreal Pro Glow foundation. I picked this up in New York last year and didn’t like it at all at first, but as my skin is currently not as dry as it has been back then, I really enjoy it now! It doesn’t make me oily throughout the day if I set it and the coverage is pretty good. The only downside to it (which is quite a big one for us Europeans actually): you still can get it only in America as far as I know.

And last, but definitely not least, my favorite product of the month or maybe even the whole year: Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer. Everyone and their mother is talking about this product and when it first launched, it was sold out for weeks! When I was at Ulta during my trip to the US, the sales lady actually laughed a bit when I asked her if they had my shade in stock. After six months, I finally purchased it and oh my lord, that’s hands down the best concealer I have ever used. So far, almost every concealer creased on me and made its way into my fine lines due to my very dry under eye area, but the Shape Tape actually stays put! A very important thing to know though: use it in small doses. It’s very thick and dries down pretty fast, so act quick!

What have you been loving this month?