June 29, 2015

Olixar Encharge Portable Charger

Olixar Encharge Portable Charger
Olixar Encharge Pocket Charger 10000maH
Pocket charger to charge your phone 5 times
Portable charger for charging your phone on the go
Olixar Pocket charger
Blogger essential device - portable charger to charge your phone on the go

Portable chargers are one of the most genius things invented for smart phones and tablets. I believe we've all had those days when you're active on your phone and then realize your battery is running out but you won't be home till later tonight. I have been there quite a few times, and it isn't pleasant. My most recent one was when I visited Madrid for a day and was taking all the pictures on my phone. You can imagine how fast my battery drained on the iphone 4s. Well, now I have a solution thanks to Mobile Fun. Mobile fun have got loads of accessories for mobile phones and tablets. From cases and screen protectors to cables, portable chargers, car kits, fitness related accessories and more. 

I am lucky to own the Olixar Encharge Portable Charger* with 10000maH which is enough to charge your phone about 5 times. This portable charger is very easy to use. Just plug it into your laptop while you work so you charge the device. Whenever you need to charge your phone, just plug it into the device using the cable which comes with it. The portable charger comes with 6 adapter plugs so no matter what phone or tablet you have, you'll be able to charge it. It has a battery display which lets you know when it is fully charged or how much power is left, 2 usb spots, an sd card slot, a mini usb slot and a torch. It isn't too big or too heavy which makes it easy to carry around. 

I've put the Olixar Encharge to a couple of tests and I am excited to let you know it passed them all. Firstly, I was interested in how many times it would charge my phone. At the end of my test, it turns out that it can charge an iphone 4s a bit over 5 times. Secondly, I wanted to know if it discharges when not used for a week or so. To my great pleasure, it was still properly charged when I picked it up. Lastly, I wanted to see how many devices it can charge in a row without overheating so I went ahead and charged 2 phones and a tablet. Even with that much energy used, the charger was very cool and didn't show any signs of overuse. I assume this is not the best sort of use but I am glad it can hold up if needed.

Overall, I would really recommend you get yourself one of these instead of cheaper ones which charge your phone maximum once before the power is drained from the pocket charger. Originally, this device costs £39.99 but at the moment it is available for just £24.99, so got one for yourself or as a gift.

Have you seen anything you like at mobilefun?

June 26, 2015

Review: Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Polish

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Polish
Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy
Revlon Colorstay Nail polish review
Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Rojo Coral 030 Swatch

I have tried different brands of nail polish, those which do or don't say super stay, 7 days and what not but I can't seem to get my nail polish to last more than 2-3 days. I recently came across the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy and decided to give it a go right away because I love the look of gel nails, but just not the takeout process or the damage it does to your nails. Revlon says to achieve the best results you should use the Colorstay Gel Envy with the top coat. I didn't get the top coat, I got just the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Rojo Coral 030. 

I have put this nail polish to the test and am quite disappointed. The brush of the nail polish is a standard size, not too big and not too small. The nail polish applies smoothly and looks almost opaque even after one coat but I like to apply two coats. I really love the colour I got as it is so bright and summery but was disappointed with the staying power of the nail polish. It lasted about 2-3 days before it began chipping off and this considering I didn't do a lot of house work while wearing it. I wash my hands quite a few times a day and do the dishes in the evening, but other than that nothing too crazy. So when they began chipping on the third day, I wasn't too happy as I was hoping it would last longer even if I didn't use the top coat.

Overall, seeing as it is more expensive than some drugstore nail polishes, I wouldn't choose this one over others as I'm sure I'd be able to find lovely colours from other brands as well with relatively the same staying power.

Overall Summary
Price -  approx. €4
Likes - colour, opaque even after 1 layer.
Dislikes - doesn't stay on for long.
Verdict - not repurchasing.
Available - drugstores.

Which nail polish stays on the longest for you and is reasonably priced?

June 22, 2015

Review: Essence Multi Action Mascara

Essence Multi Action Mascara
Essence Mascara for volume, length and curl
Essence multi action mascara review
Golden/ bronze eyes and the essence multi action mascara

Mascara is a must in my makeup routine. Whether it is a transparent mascara, white mascara or traditional black mascara, I am always wearing one of them. After using the Essence All Eyes on Me Mascara forever, I decided to give another one a go. I'm trying to find my favourite mascara from this brand so I'll be trying out quite a few in the near future. At the moment, I'm using the Essence Multi Action Mascara. The multi action mascara is supposed to increase the volume, length and curl of your lashes.

The mascara wand is the most traditional version there is. It is easy to apply and doesn't rub off during the day. The mascara isn't waterproof but I haven't had any problems with it melting in the heat or what not. What I like about it is that when taken out from the tube, it contains just the right amount of mascara needed for one coat of both lashes. I really can't stand ones where too much product comes out and you're left trying to brush off half of it back into the tube. The mascara does add a good amount of volume, but just a bit of length. I can't comment on the curl as my lashes are naturally curly so I can't tell if it adds to my curl or not.

What I don't get about this mascara is it begins to clump a bit from the second layer onwards. I've tried letting the first layer fully dry before applying the next one but it doesn't seem to be helping. I usually use two coats of mascara and the slight clumpiness honestly quite bothers me. But when using just one coat, it is amazing.

Overall Summary
Price -  approx. €3
Likes - volume & length.
Dislikes - clumps slightly.
Verdict - trying out another one.
Available - drugstores. 

Do you have a favourite Essence mascara or one you'd recommend I try?

June 18, 2015

Blogging tips: Photo Editing Tools

Blogging tips: photo editing tools, what to use to edit your photos

One of the things I look for in a blog is good photography. The equipment you use is not always the most important when trying to get clear, bright photography. We'll all have to admit that DSLR pictures usually come out better than pictures taken with your phone, but with good lighting and some editing, you can get a pretty good picture taken with your phone. You can check out my previous posts on White Backgrounds to use for blog photography or Other backgrounds which are just as pretty and maybe even more interesting.

I've used a lot of different photo editing tools and thought I'd share some of them with you. Seeing as blogging is a hobby for most people, you might not want to invest a lot into what exactly you use to edit your pictures. For this reason, I have a few options of what you can use and you'll be able to pick which works best for you.

This is a photo editing solution which I think is used by a good number of bloggers. It is an online photo editing tool which makes it accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, and it has a free version. You can Edit, Touch Up, Design from scratch and make a collage. The editing section gives you options to crop the image, play with the exposure, colour and sharpness, apply an effect, add text, add a frame, add texture to your image and lots of other features. The basic version is free but some of the features are only available in the Royale version which costs  $4.99/ month or $33/year which isn't a lot so if you need these additional features then I think it's worth the pay.

Gimp is a free photo editing software that can be installed on any laptop. Visually it is very similar to photoshop and lets you do a lot more editing than picmonkey. It allows you to create an image or edit a photo using layers and curves, manipulate the colour, resize the image, add text, overlay and what not. I've used this previously and it's a great alternative, maybe just not as cool.

Pixlr photo editing tool

I came across this tool a while back thanks to the lovely Danielle from Miss Sunshine & Sparkle. I gave the Pixlr Editor a go right away as it looked amazing and I wasn't disappointed. Pixlr is a photo editing tool which is available as Pixlr Express, Pixlr Editior, Pixlr Mobile and Pixlr Desktop. The express is a web app which allows you to do some quick editing while the Editor version allows you to do a lot more by working with layers, levels, curves, exposure, image resizing, filters and so much more. It is basically an online version of photoshop and it is free. The mobile version of Pixlr is called Autodesk Pixlr and is free in the App store. It is great for editing images for instagram on the go. Lastly, Pixlr Desktop which has the same features as the Pixlr Editor but is a software which needs to be downloaded in order to be used. It has all the same features and works offline just like photoshop but is much more affordable at $1.99/month or $14.99/year.

I'm not sure I need to tell anyone what photoshop is. Depending on where you work on your photos and if you are willing to invest quite a sum of money in this hobby, you might or might not need photoshop. I've been using photoshop for editing all my photos {personal photos, blog photos and photography shots} for as long as I can remember. I like working with levels, curves and layers, and I have gotten so used to it that I find it very easy. I also love that it gives me the option of working on blog photos even when I don't have internet. 

If you'd like to know more about any of these tools, let me know and I'll work on putting together another post dedicated to that of interest to you.

What do you use to edit your pictures? Any other options you'd recommend?

June 15, 2015

Summer Fitness Goals

Summer Fitness Goals

I've always liked fitness, even as a kid. As an adult, I target my fitness routine towards staying toned and usually work on my abs and butt. While working from home, my fitness routine was limited to a 30 minute workout which didn't require machines or other heavy fitness equipment. This routine was working well for me, giving me the results I wanted {when I was consistent}, but ever since starting my new job I no longer have time in the mornings to spend on this routine. So about 2 month ago, I signed up to the gym. The gym has a good number of machines, a padel court, a swimming pool, jacuzzi, saunas etc making it quite a great place to workout and relax. 

Lately, my fitness journey hasn't been going too smoothly and I'd like to have a consistent routine, so I've put together a few goals I'd like to achieve. 

1. Drink more water
I am absolutely horrible at drinking water. I know this is a problem and I'm trying to improve but still finding it a bit difficult. Especially since the cover of my infuser bottle broke which means I can no longer make my daily lemon water to take to work. I find it more difficult to drink plain water as I feel it's just boring, so I've ordered a new bottle. I'm also using the Waterbalance app to measure my water intake.

2. Regular gym visits
At the moment, I go a minimum of once a week and sometimes even this gets disrupted by family visits and stuff. But I'd really like to go 3 times a week so I achieve better results in a month and basically get my money's worth. I'm working on scheduling everything into my calendar so I'm organized and able to achieve more than when I'm just spontaneous. 

3. Get some abs
I don't know what it is about those little cubes on your belly but I love me some abs on both men and women. I like more defined abs on men but on women I prefer them to be softer. I've been working on getting abs since last year. But with abs, you need to be consistent in order to see good results and I just wasn't, so even though I have quite a flat belly I'm still far from having great abs.

4. The perfect butt
Nothing better than a good firm butt. Well, maybe there is but not a lot. I've been working on my butt for a while but a bit more consistently the last two months. I find that if you can't squeeze in a workout, following the routine of 20 squats each time you go to the ladies/mens room works very well because at the end of the day you'd have done about 100 squats without a lot of effort. 

5. Run 10 kms
Another goal still linked to exercising is being able to run longer distances. I've noticed that when I run, I'm only able to do shorter distance of about 3km, after which I get tired and quite bored on the treadmill. So I'm working on endurance so I can do a 10km run one of these days.

6. Daily smoothies
This time last year, I started on a smoothie hype drinking a cup of green smoothie a day and honestly it was the best feeling ever. I was able to get in my daily dose of fruits and vegs and I really did see a difference in my body. My skin was brighter, I got less breakouts, I felt more energized and healthier in general. I've fallen off that train and currently have a smoothie about once a week. Now it's time to get back on and either have smoothies as a meal replacement or as a snack between meals. I'm looking for new recipes to try so if you have any, be sure to let me know.

What are your fitness goals this summer?

June 10, 2015

Review: MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation
MAC Studio Fix Fluid Review
MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC42 Review and Swatch

Foundations are part of my everyday routine, unless I am going to the beach. I've tried a few drugstore foundations and find it hard to find a good match. When I ran out of the Inglot YSM Cream Foundation, I needed something else and since I've wanted to try a MAC foundation for a long time, I finally bit the bullet and went into the MAC store to get swatched. After checking out the foundation in daylight, I was sold. I got the MAC Studio Fix  Fluid SPF 15 Foundation in NC42 and have been using it a lot since.

The MAC Stuido Fix Fluid is a full coverage matte foundation which is great if you've got oily skin and a lot of imperfections to cover up. It comes in a glass bottle without a pump, but the pump can be purchased separately. I would honestly recommend you do so when getting this foundation, if not it gets very messy with frequent use. The Studio Fix Fluid Foundation has an SPF of 15 which means you can wear it without any sunscreen unless you need a higher SPF. 

I have been using this for about two month and think it works very well for oily skin. Usually I do one coat for my entire face and then add some more in areas I feel I need it. I apply this foundation using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge as I feel this gives it the most natural finish. With my oily skin, the foundation lasts about 4 hours without primer, and about 5-6 hours with a primer. This is the longest I've had any foundation last which definitely makes me happy. 

So even though the fact that you need to pay separately for the pump is off putting, I am very happy with the foundation and will definitely repurchase when I run out.

Overall Summary
Price -  €30
Likes - high coverage.
Dislikes - pump needs to be purchased separately.
Verdict - repurchasing.
Available - Mac stores/ counters. 

Have you tried the MAC Stuid Fix Fluid? What is your favourite foundation?

June 8, 2015

New in: Clothes and Makeup {June}

New in: Bershka shoes, H&M cardigan and some makeup products
New in: Revlong Colorstay Gel Envy, Catrice Lash Boost Lash Extension Fibres, Essence Mascara

As you might have seen in my Shoes Lustlist post, I have been a little bit shoe obsessed. The greatest difficulty is usually finding a pair of shoes I like in my size. This weekend, I was lucky enough to find not one pair but two! I stopped by H&M and couldn't find the ones I was looking for or any others in my size, checked out Zara, Pull and Bear and was going to leave it for another day when I went into Bershka and saw that they had quite a few designs in my size. I immediately began trying them on to see which ones would fit the best. In the end, I settled on the BSK Basic Wedges in Black {they are in the sale at the moment for €20} and the Bershka Strap Pumps in Beige, although I have my eye on a pair of yellow heel sandals which I tried on and also on some coral ones which sadly weren't available in my size.

While at the shopping centre, I also stopped by H&M to get the Fine Knit Cardigan in beige. It gets quite cold sometimes at the office due to the air conditioner, so I needed something in a summer shade to keep me warm. I think I'll get some pastel coloured cardigans as well as I just love throwing them on with whatever outfit I'm wearing.

We also stopped by Druni, so I decided to get myself some new makeup bits. I've been using the Essence All Eyes on Me mascara and love it, but I want to give the others a go so I picked up the Essence Multi Action Mascara. Hopefully, it's as good as the other ones I've used. The fibre lashes for thicker, longer lashes are everywhere and I'm glad Catrice is in the game on this one. I saw the Lash Boost Lash Extension Fibres and immediately knew I wanted to try it out. I love long lashes and for less than 6, I really don't think you can go wrong. I'm excited to start using it and will have a review up as soon as I've given it a proper go. Lastly, I picked up the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Rojo Coral. Nail polish never lasts long on my nails so I wanted to see if this lives up to the 7 days indicated on the packaging. Some lovely bloggers suggested I try some Essie polishes but that'll have to wait till I can get to a store that sells them. 

What have you picked up lately?

June 6, 2015

Leaving some prints at Empuriabrava

How to style a blue print dress
Dress - Pimkie   |   Sandals: Bosanova   |   Bag: El Dragonfly   |   Necklace: H&M   |   Sun glasses: Lefties
Casually styling a blue print dress
Blue print dress ootd
Empuriabrava playground, Costa brava
Outfit blue print dress from pimkie

Last weekend we went to visit the Museum of Dali once again and while everyone was having a good time inside, I enjoyed a nice afternoon with my nephew which included eating ice cream, blowing soap bubbles and riding in kid cars. Afterwards, we went to Empuriabrava for a walk along the beach. Empuriabrava is a gorgeous residential marina where almost each house has a small dock so the residents can come home by boat. Now wouldn't that be a dream. 

I could honestly go on and on about how much I loved it. The houses were beautiful, the boats were calling my name and it was peaceful, unlike Barcelona. It is definitely a place you could go to just get away from everything, and have a quiet time on the beach.

This was a very hot and sunny day so I decided to wear one of my new purchases which I snagged in the Pimkie sale earlier last month. Even though the dress is printed, it felt quite plain so I chose my beige droplets statement necklace and left my big curly hair. We were all grateful it was windy as it helped keep us cool, but didn't do too well for my photos. Either way, it was an amazing trip and was definitely worth it.

How would you style this dress?

June 1, 2015

Review: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
RT Miracle Complexion Sponge
RT Makeup Sponge
Affordable Makeup Sponge

By now everyone knows what the beauty blender is. Other than the beauty blender which is a bit more expensive, there are lots of different makeup sponges you can try. I've recently been giving the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge a go and I'm impressed with the quality. I got mine on iherb as it is a bit cheaper and I needed some other items from there as well.

The Miracle Complexion Sponge looks quite small {approx. 6.1cms} at first but absorbs quite a bit of water when you wet it, making it appear larger. This makeup sponge can be used for applying powder or cream products. The flat edge is great for using around your nose or under your eyes, the sides for large surfaces such as your cheeks, forehead etc, and the pointed tip is handy for concealing under your eyes and imperfections.

To apply your makeup using this sponge, you can either gently spread your makeup or bounce the sponge around your face and apply one section at a time {that is: forehead, first side, then second side}. I use a damp sponge and bounce it all over my face when applying my foundation, and it looks a lot more natural than when I use a buffing brush. I also really like that the sponge is easy to wash {and the colour doesn't fade} making it possible to use a clean tool for applying your foundation every time which is a big plus when struggling with acne.

The downside of using this as your method of application is that the sponge absorbs a bit more foundation than if using a brush or your fingers, but the end result definitely makes it worth the product waste for me. It also gives less coverage but you can always build up the coverage the way you need. In the end, I'm extremely happy with my purchase and would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to try a makeup sponge.

Overall Summary
Price -  €5.99
Likes - natural look, easy to wash.
Dislikes - wastes a bit of product.
Verdict - repurchasing.
Available - iherb, feelunique

Are there any other makeup sponges you would recommend?
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