Feb 28, 2015

Get your spring lips on

I've been way too obsessed with the brown nude lip look that I'm now starting to embrace more bright colors. For the past few months I either wore nudes or a classic red on my lips - it's high time to change things up. Lately I've been on the hunt for the perfect pink and came across a couple of products...

1. L'Oréal Color Riche L'Extraordinaire, Fuchsia Drama: This is a very good pigmented lip gloss in a very hot pink shade with a slight purple sheen to it - definitely a show stopper.
2. Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss, Bright Pink: If you're looking for a more coral pink, this might be the one for you. This is a typical lip gloss, meaning that the pigmentation is rather moderate.
3. Maybelline Color Elixir, Fuchsia Flourish: Two words - barbie pink! I love its glassy finish.
4. ILIA Lipstick, Neon Angel: This lipstick has a semi matte finish and the color is buildable. In the day time one swipe will leave your lips in a healthy pink and during night time you can layer the color and achieve bold statement lips.
5. Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil, Fuchsia Desire: Now this is what I call hot pink! This lip pencil feels more like a creamy lipstick, although it turns into a matte finish.

Today I went for ILIA to recreate a soft daytime lip look...beacause Saturdays call for hot pink! I got mine from green lane. Do you have any experience with this green beauty brand?

Happy Saturday everyone!

Feb 22, 2015

Sunday's Recipe: Alfajores

When I visited my boyfriend in Argentina a couple of years back, he told me about some cookies he got addicted to ever since he had his first bite. He was talking about alfajores, which are sandwiched cookies filled with delicious dulce de leche (sort of like milk jam that tastes like caramel). These are known in many countries of South America aside of Argentina such as Bolivia, Chile or Uruguay. During my short stay there I've tasted a lot of different ones, some coated with chocolate, some only filled with dulce de leche with a note of coconut. So naturally he requested I'd make these once we got home ... but then life got in the way and almost three years later a friend of ours brought us a jar of dulce de leche straight from Argentina. I thought to myself, that it's now or never...

Let's make some Alfajores, shall we?

Ingredients for the cookies: 
250 g cornstarch
200 g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
150 g of sugar
200 g margarine or butter
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cognac
1 tablespoon vanilla - extract
zest of one lemon

Dulce de leche can be store-brought or home-made. Since I haven't tried that yet, I can't share any recipes for the filling.

How to: 

Mix the cornstarch, flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whip together butter and sugar and beat in the egg yolks one at a time until smooth and creamy. Add the cognac with the vanilla extract and lemon zest- Now sift the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until the dough comes together, it’s best to knead this with your hands. Form a ball, cover it with film and leave it in the fridge for about half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180° C. Dust your work surface with cornflour. Next, take the dough from the fridge and roll it out until it’s about 0.5cm thick. I cut the circles with an espresso cup. Place them on a tray lined with baking sheet and let some space between.

Now it’s time to bake the cookies in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the dough has a very pale golden color. Let them cool before you fill them with dulce the leche to sort of glue them together. 
If you like, roll the edges in coconut flakes like I did below...

We really enjoyed these Alfajores, they almost tasted like the ones we ate in Argentina. Next time I'm going to roll the dough a little bit more because the cookies turned out to be quite thick. Also, while I'm at it, why not coat half of the batch with chocolate... Sounds good, doesn't it?

Oh and, if you liked our Turkey travel video I posted previously, you might want to check out the one from Argentina shot in 2012. You can catch a glimpse of me at 01:38 minutes. 


Feb 21, 2015

Once upon a time

To celebrate the release of the new Cinderella movie, MAC teamed up with Disney! The result: A dreamy and twinkly 18-piece Cinderella Collection.
I was lucky enough to already swatch a few of the products and let me tell you one thing: They're shimmery! Not much of a surprise if you think about Cinderella's dress and glass slippers - the collection exactly reflects Cinderella's appearance. If you're not into any kinds of sheen and shimmer when it comes to your makeup routine, then the collection might not be as exciting for you as for others.
Here is a swatch of one of the pressed powders in the collection: The iridescent powder Coupe d'Chic, which is a golden peach facial highlighter. I would use this either as a blush or a cheeck bone highlighter. The formula is velvety and buildable. I will say though, that the powder in Mystery Princess is my favorite product from the entire range.
The limited-edition features a mix of products for lips, eyes and face.
from left to right: Lipstick Free as a Butterfly, Lipstick Royal Ball, Lipglass Glass Slipper, Lipglass Happily Ever After, Eyeshadow Palette Stroke of Midnight, Studio Eye Gloss Pearl Varnish, Studio Eye Gloss Lightly Tauped, Fluidline Little Black Bow, Fluidline Macroviolet, Glitter Reflects Pearl, Pigment Pretty it up, Pigment Evil Stepmother, Fix Lash Bold Black, Beauty Powder Mystery Princess, Iridescent Pressed Powder Coupe d'Chic, 217 Blending Brush, 168 Large angled contour

Available in Switzerland as of 5 March at Manor in Zurich and Geneva, MAC store Lucerne or online.

Feb 19, 2015

Masks to add to your skin care routine

No matter how diligent I try to be with my skin care routine, it happens from time to time that I’m just too tired and can’t be bothered with cleansing. Some might get away with it but my skin unfortunately has no qualms about showing me immediately that it’s not happy about my choices. Dull skin and blemishes are the results I have to deal with. In that case masks are my saviors. I have many different ones I use for specific purposes and recently these four masks/peels have been added to my arsenal. 

I discovered Caudalie for myself about two years ago and have mentioned their products here and here. I still swear by those exfoliating products by the way. But now, let me introduce to these new masks that are going to be available starting April 2015 in select pharmacies. 

Mathilde Thomas, founder of the brand, created four new masks that are made for busy ladies (and gents!) who want to give their skin some reboost in just a couple of minutes. They are recommended to be used about twice a week for 5-10 minutes. Since I got these, I’ve been really looking forward to a regular relaxing me-time.

From left to right

Moisturizing mask: This is a straight-forward, 85% of natural origin mask which leaves your face nicely hydrated. Aside hyaluronic acid and grapeseed oil it contains Vinolevure, an ingredient derived from wine yeast to help calm down sensitive skin and boost its immunity. 

Glycolic peel: Dull skin is one of the most common skin issues during winter. This peel contains papaya enzymes and Viniferine, a Caudalie patented active ingredient which is 62 times more effective than vitamine C. 

Instant Detox: After a night out I detox internally (by sipping mint tea) and externally with this mask. It's 99% natural containing 8 essential oils. Pink clay gives it this specific color which helps alongside with coffee to drain toxins and purify the skin.

Purifying mask: This thick and creamy white clay mask is great at absorbing excess sebum. Flax seed and zinc regulate the skin's oil production and I'm also really enjoying the aromatic herbal scent.

All of these masks can be used alone or mixed. For instance I like applying the purifying mask on my T zone and a moisturizing mask on my cheeks. Just experiment and enjoy prepping your skin.

Feb 15, 2015

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

Some of my best memories were made while away on vacation. We always make sure to travel to places that are new to us and want to discover as much as possible. Under the category "travel" you can find lots of snapshots of past years but while photos are great, in my opinion a video just captures the emotions better and takes you with on the journey.

It took us a long time to make this video of our vacation in Turkey last summer but I hope you will enjoy this video as much as I do. It's probably one of the most personal things I shared on this blog, showing you a more private side of me...


Feb 8, 2015

Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains: An unforgettable winter weekend in St.Moritz

No matter how much I love my home, waking up in a lavish hotel and being cared for by attentive staff never gets old. From the crisp white sheets of an insanely comfortable bed to the truffled quail eggs I had for breakfast – when your day starts like this, you know you’re at an extraordinary place. 

Picture a luxurious hotel with excellent service set in the beautiful mountains of Engadin, in St.Moritz to be exact. We had the chance to enjoy a weekend at the magnificent Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains some time ago, where we celebrated the 150 year anniversary of the winter tourism resort St.Moritz. Being one of the most glamorous and chic resorts of Switzerland, we knew we were in to have a fabulous time and that we did – thanks to Paul Dutschmann, the PR Executive, who made sure we all enjoyed ourselves.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, that was definitely the case. 

Coat: Burberry
Beanie: handknit by my sister

Top left, with Regine from www.gine.ch

Earring: H&M

Boots: &other stories

Thank you again Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains for having us - it was a dreamy weekend!
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