DIY Manicure

It feels very therapeutic to take timeout to do your nails. However, it might as well be quite stressful if you mess it up seconds after doing them. The key is probably finding the right products to address whatever is causing you to stray away from doing your nails to turn this ritual into a positive, relaxing experience

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Here is how I have been doing my nails recently, I know it’s not perfect and I never remove the cuticles and try to keep the shape more or less even, but don’t really obsess over it, it’s just too much hassle, but I always make sure to apply base coat and a top coat and if one nail breaks, then I have to file all of them to the more or less even length.

STEP 1

I start removing whatever left over nail polish I might have on and filing the nails to achieve a uniform shape. Even if I don’t have nail polish I make sure to go over the nails with a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover, to get rid of any oils, residue, etc that can hinder the longevity of the nail colour. I find that his step preps the nail and somewhat helps to go that extra day chip free. My nail polish removed of choice is any acetone free and Cutex is the one I go for, because it does the job without drying the nails too much.

STEP 2

The base coat. It is very important to not only help the colour stick better, it protects the nails from going yellow (from wearing too much dark polish), conditions, strengthens and prolongs the colour. The one I am currently using is this Nails Inc primer/ridge filler which also doubles up as a natural nail polish if you apply 2 coats which is a good option when you want to skip steps 3 and 4.

STEP 3

Nail colour – any really, I have no preference over any brand, some brushes are a bit ore convenient than others but essentially they all do the job, so I just pick the colour I like and I never apply more or less than 2 coats. This Revlon colour is supposed to be scented but I honestly couldn’t care less if it is, I would never smell my nails and the only thing I was drawn to was the colour and this cute bottle.

STEP 4 

Top coat – this step is the most important. Gone are the days where you have to sit for 30 minutes after painting. I really liked the Sally Hansen Insta Dry and repurchased it multiple times, but now I am using the Seche Vite Dry  and it is equally good if not better. The top coat was such a game changer for me. It actually encourages me to do my nails, especially when you are good to go almost immediately after applying that top coat.

STEP 5

Cuticle oil and hand cream is very important. Especially if you have dry skin and we all tend to have dry hands in winter especially.

What are your tips for best DIY manicure?

Lots of Love!

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Daily Tools for Better Life

I love to imagine myself as one of those cool people who sit in a cafe and type away on their laptops sipping a cup of coffee. When taking a break from the laptop they open one of their fancy, cool looking diaries or planners and tick off things on a to do list.. That’s the picture I have been fascinated with for years, buying new diaries come every new year and of course, not using them. Then, every year end just end up throwing them out and promising myself the next year will be different and what actually happens is that my new pretty diary collects dust month after month.

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Image via Pinterest

I realise the solution is not to buy a better diary every year but perhaps having enough self disciple to actually use one. However, it often feels quite overwhelming looking at the blank page and not knowing what to do with it. Plan out my day, plan my year, plan my moods, make a to do list.. Where does one start implementing these new things they want to achieve? Too many options and too many scattered ideas that never get seen through.

However, this year one of the things I definitely wanted to do is to get more structure into my day and was looking for means to do so. And although the task of planning out your days/weeks does indeed look daunting, it actually gets easier once you start. And the thing is, if you’re like me, and postpone planning because you want to use a certain pen or want to write but are not sure if your handwriting is nice enough for the notebook (I have those though all the time..) just remember that this diary/notebook/planner is here to serve YOU, not the other way around. So take this as an opportunity to experiment and learn about what works for you.

I have been using 3 tools for the past few months: two notebooks and an app. Might seem a bit excessive for someone who could not use 1 diary, but it’s like having different shoes for different occasions, you need more than one.. Hear me out:

First thing is a plain notebook that I use during my morning routine and I write in it for 5 to 10 minutes. What gets written depends on my mood and circumstances, I try and make it as positive as possible, so it would be an abstract combination of affirmations, things I want to achieve and a prayer. I try and fill a page of an A5 notebook and find that once all these positive thoughts and intentions are on paper, it’s somehow more real and sets a tone for a better day.

Then, the 5 Minute Journal App, I have set a reminder for the app on my phone which I try and fill out after I make my coffee in the morning. It’s essentially a gratitude journal in an app form: you fill it out in the morning: 3 things you’re grateful for, 3 things that will make today great and an intention for the day; and in the evening (I do it as a last thing before turning the lights off): 3 amazing things that happened today and 1 thing how you could have made today better. It’s really great, helps to carry the momentum from filling out the notebook and define the things I will focus on that particular day and it’s a great closure for the day as it kind of sets the tone for the following morning.

And last but not least it’s the Dear Diary planner. This year as every year, I was looking the prettiest diary, the only difference is that I am actually using it! (tap on the back for myself for that.) The planner itself is beautiful. But most importantly, it’s a structured system for achieving your goals. It has week to view but as well as that, little boxes to tick to track your habits and set out the goals for the week. There are little perks at the end of every week – a weekly overview and (something you could find in a glossy magazine) useful tips, recipes, or general insight into a topic. And I LOVE that, it makes me look forward to completing the whole week so I get a little reward Sunday evening when looking back on the past week and planning out the next one.

I scan over it in the morning while having breakfast after I am done with my gratitude app to make sure I have all my personal to do things in it and to start off a productive day. I make sure to tick off the habits that I have been sticking to and goals I have achieved every evening.

The great thing is, the system is actually working. And for someone who is obsessing over the right handwriting and spelling, get this erasable pen from Amazon, so you can erase the mistake(s) and keep the tidy looking journal.

Let me know what works for you and how to you keep on top of your day?

Lots of Love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, do you wanna look pretty or do you wanna seem clever?

 

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Have you ever heard something  similarly ridiculous being said to your face or behind your back? I bet we all did, no?

Oh, she’s wearing so much make up, must be really shallow.

Look at this bookworm, she should sort out that skin of hers.

You are paying so much attention to your clothes, you know it’s not that important, there are kids who have nothing to eat.

Are you gonna wear that???

Your friend is more beautiful than you.

Your friend is better at maths than you.

Your lipstick might give a wrong impression to the boys.

He hit her? She must have asked for it, you know how annoying she can be.

Our society is full of crippling opinions, where girls are being put in a boxes and told that as a girl you cannot put certain make up on, have interest in fashion and still want to get a PHD. You are being told that your clothes are distracting the boys. Being constantly compared to your friends and judged on your looks, your smartness and your choices

But it’s time for a change and lot’s have changed since Beyonce confirmed that girls run this world, feminism is not a dirty word anymore and even the House of Dior put it on their T-shirt this season (like the one in the above picture and I want one of these so so bad). In light of recent events in the world there is a major breakthrough: the gender pay gap  (men in senior positions still earn 20% more than women in the same senior position) is being closed and the western world is talking about the future being female. We are dusting off the old approach where we were divided and conquered by the society (constantly telling us to compete against each other, that our friend is going to steal our boyfriend) and coming together to support each other to stand up for each other to empower each other.

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And if your relationships with your friends are not inspiring and empowering, maybe it’s worth thinking if you are with the right crowd, cause you know, you are as good as the 5 closest people around you.

Lets continue to support, to inspire each other and to move forward so we have a better tomorrow and no one will ever say that we cannot be somebody. There should be women’s march every month!

Lots of love!

 

 

Images via Pinterest

Self Care #4 Mind

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We are our biggest enemies – that’s something we all probably heard before and can somewhat relate to. Self love is one of the aspects that help to keep your mind in check. But as well as that, there are some daily habits that can make a huge difference to your mood, outlook on life and relationships.

Practise gratitude – you can think of three things you are grateful for every morning first thing you wake up or even better – write them down in a gratitude journal or a gratitude app. And do the same in the evening – three or more great things that happened today and you feel grateful for. It’s great for your mind. To constantly remind yourself that we are surrounded by amazing things, people and opportunities

Meditate – or practise silence. There are so many different ways of doing it: guided meditation, chanting, eyes closed or open.. Pick one that you feel most comfortable with. I like the silent meditation, where you are trying to focus on your breath and clear your mind of any thoughts. It might sounds like some hippie thing you’re not really into, but once you get over that and give it a shot, it will be worth while. Just sit down comfortably, follow your breath and DO NOT THINK. It’s amazing how many thoughts will come to you at first. It’s like they rush to your mind at 100 mph and try to compete which one is going to make it first.. And once you try your best to sit still for these 10 minutes a day, it magically alleviates not only the mind chatter but has a multitude other proven benefits, like lower stress levels, better mood, sleep and etc.

Do you practise any of the above?

Thank you for reading.

 

Much love!

 

 

Images via Pinterest

30 Days of Not Spending


How does it sound to you? Crazy? Scary? Fun? Have you done it already? I guess it’s a challenge everyone should try not only for saving purposes but to evaluate if the things we buy everyday are really that necessary. Like this daily trip to Pret(!?).

Choosing one or two categories that are on purchase ban should be a good place to start. Of course someone might be extreme/preapared enough not to spend anything at all. If I could go back  to my early teens summer time at grandma in the country side with abundance of fresh vegies, berries, chicken that lay eggs, cows that give fresh milk, I would go for a month of not spending a penny. But the reality is – we need to eat. And in a London flat with no garden (for a veggie patch) groceries spending is justifyable. However, my spending ban is on buying prepared meals aka covenient lunches, coffees and croisants on my way to work AND skincare/make up.

What I expect out of it is first and foremost prepare my own healthier breakfast and spend time enjoying it in the morning. Have my coffee whilst getting ready drinking it from a proper mug, not a paper one you get after an hour of commuting and waiting in line only for a trainee barista to ask you for a third time which one was it: a latte or a skinny cappucino (!?) and the end result is suspiciously not what you asked for but you just have it anyway. 

Skincare – I have more than enough but all these new products land on my bathroom shelf way too often to be fully used up. So, going back and rediscovering the products that you love but stopped using cause you bought new ones is a good way to shop your own stash!

To make things easier, need to unsubscribe from the beauty website emails (or maybe just delete unopened ones for a month..).

Wish me luck!

What are your thoughts?

Lots of love!

Self Care #3 Love

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Image via Pinterest

We all love love. This human emotion is important for our core existence – it’s where we come from and what we look for throughout our lives. I think women generally are expected to be more loving creatures than men, however, when it comes to self love, I think it’s something we should practice everyday. Taking this extra time for ourselves to fill our cup full so people around us could feel it more and we can accept it back in return.

Taking little time out everyday to do something that make you happy can really go a long way, however, it might be a little. confusing where to start. I try and follow the below steps to help me get into self loving mode.

Identify what really makes you happy

I did struggle with this one, cause I was like, well, I do things that make me happy, like watch some TV, chill, have chocolate.. But we should take time to think about what really makes us happy. For example things that used to  make us happy or things that we used to do a lot and stopped for some reason. It might be that dancing class you took at school and stopped when went to uni, or reading books, but now you just don’t seem to find time for that. It can be anything, even something like burning candles that you stopped doing because your other half doesn’t like them. It does not have to be a long list, a thing or two to start with.

Start incorporating those things into your daily life 

It might be a bit of a chore at first, like: you sign up for a class and then you have to make time for it, or you start reading a book and it’s just not as grabbing as let’s say scrolling down somebody’s Instagram feed. The rewards always come slowly and you just have to tell your mind that this is something really good for you and you love doing it.

Persevere 

Then, it’s just about sticking to whatever you chose to do for yourself, like sticking to taking your time to do your skincare routine in the evening, or putting make up on because that makes a positive impact on your day. It’s much like exercise, it’s hard at first, but you keep coming back to it, cause it makes you feel awesome.

And above all, STOP negative self talk

Be really nice to yourself, and make it a priority. Would you say things that you say to yourself when you look in a mirror to your closest friend (put those nasty friends who say mean things aside, they are not real friends and they need to chill out) and think about your nearest and dearest. You wouldn’t say stuff like: oh I wish your skin was clearer, I wish your legs were longer, you have these crooked ugly teeth, your hair is awful today. So you should stop saying this to yourself. It’s million times better to look in a mirror and repeat the words of the greatest Muhammad Ali, say to yourself that you are beautiful. And then add: I LOVE myself and I meant it.

Lots of love!