REVIEW:: Essence Nail Art Special Effect Topper – 10 Glorious Aquarius

So, as I told you guys yesterday, I went on a little shopping spree. One of the things I bought was the Essence Nail Art Special Effect Topper (who invents these names anyway?) in number 10, Glorious Aquarius. There was a 1+1 sale action, so for the same price I also picked up the Essence Colour & Go in number 147, Miss Universe, because I figured it would look amazing beneath the Glorious Aquarius topper. I’ve combined them on my nails (I’m still admiring my fingers while typing this, haha) so it’s about time to start my review!

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When Essence updated their products, they came up with 6 Nail Art Special Effect Toppers, which is a response to the increasing popularity of nail art worldwide. If you wanted flakies, holographic or magnetic effects, fuzzy nails, caviar nails, newspaper print nails, nail art stickers or something else, you often either had to look between more expensive, specialized brands, or try a DIY tutorial (like the one I’ve got on newspaper print nails!). But search no further, because Essence can help you out with ALL of those.

The nail polish line I’m discussing is their Special Effect Toppers, which, as I mentioned previously, consists of 6 different types of effects. The line includes 02 Circus Confetti, which is a transparant polish with multi-coloured glitters (a lot of purple, with specks of orange, red, green and blue), 10 Glorious Aquarius, which I will discuss in a minute, 15 Glitter on Me, which takes me back to the nineties, when my mum owned a transparant polish with slender bars and rectangles in mostly silver.
Next up is 16 Cool Breeze, which according to Essence is a jewel effect. It is a bit foggy sky blue and contains ditto flakies. I’ve tried these in the store on my nail (don’t tell the store owner, haha) because I was doubting between Glorious Aquarius and this one, but I felt like it didn’t transfer a lot of flakies to my nail, so I didn’t buy it.
And last but not least, the two newest ones in line are 17 Only Purple Matters, which is again a glitter topper with a lot of purple and some hot pink glitter, and 18 Fly Firefly Fly, which is a glow in the dark top coat.
The Essence Nail Art Special Effect Toppers cost about €1,89.

So, how about 10 Glorious Aquarius?

I started with two thin layers of Essence Colour & Go 147 Miss Universe, and actually it took surprisingly long for my nails to dry. They’re also impossible to wear with just one layer, because the polish turned out to be quite transparent for such a dark colour. Miss Universe is a very dark blue colour with blue and green shimmers. It looks amazing in the bottle, but needs a couple of layers on your nails before they match the colour and beautiful shimmer in the bottle.

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I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of only Miss Universe on my nails, but I will update this post as soon as possible. So, next I added one layer of 10 Glorious Aquarius, and wow, it makes my nails look like some underwater version of galaxy nails! Glorious Aquarius consists of a transparant polish, filled with different sized (hexagon) glitters in silver, dark green, dark blue, sky blue and … orange. Yes, orange. For some reason the orange matches reaaaaalllly well with the cold colours without demanding all your attention. I simply love it!

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(I’m sorry for the picture being a bit blurry, but it’s already getting dark and it was really difficult to try and get a clear image)

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Fall trends 2013 through my point of view

I’m in a good mood since I just got back from a shopping spree with my best friend, which always makes a girl happy. It’s not diamonds that are a girl’s best friend, it’s a sign with ‘sale’ and someone who’s willing to carry all of your shopping bags.

So while I was at H&M, I found their magazine, the Autumn 2013 edition. When I was leafing through the pages, I read a huge bunch of trends for this fall. I agreed with some, but disagreed with others. So I decided to make my own list. These are the things, patterns, trends and looks that -according to me- will define the next couple of months.

  1. Wednesday Addams:
    I’m sure most of you will remember this young lady from the Addams Family. I agree with H&M on this one, the Wednesday Addams look is spot on for this fall. Sleek, wetlook hair with either a middle or deep, sharp sideparting, dark grey or even black smokey or smudged eyes, raven-black nails and full brows.
    Concerning clothes, we’re talking black tule, a Victorian twist, black lace, collars and schoolgirl dresses. Add some matte black, plum or bordeaux Doc Martens and you’re ready to haunt the runway!
    (Seen at: Prada, Jonathan Saunders, Alexander Wang)

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  2. Army meets leather:
    Think army green parkas, leather sleeves, army boots and a top bun or beanie, combined with a dark, matte lipstick and statement necklaces. This is something the H&M Trend Guide doesn’t really mention, but I noticed it in both the streets and the stores. I’m currently trying to convince my mum to buy (at least a part) of the H&M army green parka for me. One thing H&M does acknowledge as fall trend, is matte lips, which in my eyes fits perfectly with the rigorous, severe army look.Image
  3. Cosmic love:
    If there’s anything they’re beating you to death with in stores right now, it’s cosmic fashion. Galaxy print leggings, galaxy bags, shirts, shoes, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, scarves, sweaters, just about everything. Just a year ago I there wasn’t a pair of galaxy leggings in town, so I had to order them from Poppy Lovers, all the way from Hong Kong, but now you can find them everywhere. I’ve always liked the cosmic theme, despite it being a little bit hipster. Throw in a couple of triangles and there’ll be a hipster around the corner with a Starbucks cup in his hand, trying to accuse you of Illuminati. Oh well, I’m still a galaxy fan.
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  4. Smelling less of teen spirit and more of female empowerment:
    This quote is literally from the H&M trends article, but I just had to use it. It expresses exactly my current view on fashion, and the way I (hopefully) look. Think nineties, Nirvana, Chuck Taylors and messy hair, but this time in a more mature way.
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So, these are my four fashion trends/styles for upcoming fall. What do you think? Which one is your favourite? Or will you just continue on wearing a lot of summer outfits, but with thights? (I know I will!)

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Photopost: Leather

I’m currently 20 years old, which means I am really an adult now. I can no longer hide behind the fact of still being in my teens. It also means I now behave mature, which I proved once again by how I handled finding a huuuuge spider on my bedroom wall yesterday evening, when I wanted to go to bed.

I didn’t scream for my mum or dad to come and get rid of it. No, I decided I was a big girl and I could handle this on my own. Which is why I immediately reached for my big bottle of Syoss hairspray, extra hold and extra shine. I was always told hairspray stiffens spiders within seconds, which should make it easier to kill them. When I pointed the hairspray bottle to the spider, I suddenly hesitated. What if I sprayed the spider, it dropped from the wall and used its last strength to crawl under my closet?

So I decided to use the flat cap of the bottle to kill the spider immediately. It would be quicker, more effective, and I would not lose any hairspray, haha! Oh boy, was I wrong. As soon as I raised the bottle and brought it closer, the spider dropped from the wall and crawled into the direction of my bare feet. I nearly started to shriek, until I remembered my parents sleeping in the next room, so I only let out a surprised gasp (because I’m that mature, yes).

I still managed to spray the spider once before it turned around and hid under my closet (oh the irony). I haven’t seen it since, but I bet it has a healthy shine all over now.

I spent the remaining part of the night straight up in bed, cringing with every itch I felt on my legs. Because that’s also a part of being mature: being able to handle your own problems, even if they don’t go as expected.

Maybe I should try to toughen up a bit. I nearly slept on the couch last night, which is not really an indication of being mature or grown up. And what’s more tough than leather?

(So far the longest introduction I ever wrote on a photopost, but I really wanted to share my spider disaster with you all, haha)

                    

(As usual, all pictures were retrieved from Pinterest. Just search for ‘leather‘, ‘leather skirt‘, ‘leather dress‘ etc.)

 

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How fashion open-minded is your world?

Have you, as the graceful fashion icon you are, ever experienced this? You try something new in your outfit, take one last confident look at the mirror before you strut out the door, but as soon as you see your friends you notice a look of how-am-I-going-to-tell-her-she-looks-weird in their eyes?

You ask them how they like your *insert new item here*, and all you get is a bit of mumbling, a pitiful nod and a “well, it sure looks… different.”. You have no idea how often I’ve experienced this!

I already mentioned it in my Essence + Catrice Nail Polishes Haul: the world (or at least my friends) is not ready for pastel yellow nail polish on your toes. Whereas I absolutely looooved my toes and couldn’t stop admiring them, the comment I got mostly was “Nice colour… But I would prefer it on your fingernails.”. Because apparently, the only colours generally acceptable for your toes are reds and pinks. Perhaps black as well, but there’s still a bit of discussion upon that between my friends. I googled for colourful toe nails (do NOT google yellow toe nails. I warned you) and I found all kinds of beautiful colours, and they absolutely don’t look weird to me!

 

The way I see it: I’m a huge fan of nail polishes. My stash is ashamingly big, and I love bold colours. Painting my toe nails in bright colours is just doubling the fun! If I can’t choose between two colours for my finger nails, hey, it doesn’t matter, I’ve got ten toes to paint as well! (Am I weird? Probably.)

My second experience happened in the H&M, where I was shopping with my sister and a friend. I’ve been looking all over for a mullet skirt, preferably a sheer black or dark blue/green one. I found a blue silk one, with flowers, and I just HAD to try it on. My first mullet skirt, so exciting! Or, well, my excitement quickly faded after I noticed the look of disapproval on my sister’s face. “Eeh, you do realize that skirt’s short in the front, and long in the back, right?”

I tried to lighten up the mood by making a mullet skirts: short in the front, party in the back joke, but I don’t think she got it (If they ever re-make Friends and they need a female version of Chandler Bing -I’m your man woman). Bye bye enthusiasm, and so I was no longer in the mood to buy the skirt. I wasn’t sure I looked good in it in the first place anyway, but still.

Next up: head chains. I tried one on while shopping and my friend immediately responded with “Uhm, that necklace is too small if you can’t even fit it over your head.”. Yeah, very funny. Although she really thought it was a necklace. She never even heard of head chains. “Isn’t that something Bollywood actresses wear?” Funny comment of the day, number two.

I personally really adore head chains. They can give a really cute boho look, compared to a waving skirt (a mullet skirt, perhaps?) and lots of bangling bracelets. But they’re still a bit weird for the average crowd, apparently.

The same goes for hats. I tried on a straw one and although both my mum and sister said that they liked it, I could see the doubt in their eyes. I liked the look of a straw hat on my head, especially since I got that balayage/ombré dye and I no longer straighten my hair -embrace messy hair!

It kinda strikes me how people still look a bit surprised when they see someone wearing a straw hat -even though that’s getting more and more common!

There are still a thousand more things I love and people don’t really get, such as Doc Martens (“Aren’t those only for goths and punks?”), Jeffrey Campbell’s Litas (“They look like clown shoes to me.” -My mum actually said this), crop tops (“The nineties called, they want their top back.”), statement necklaces, bright eye shadows, huge rings, even ombré hair (“Did you do that to your hair on purpose or…?”). Clearly, the world isn’t ready for a bunch of fashionistas like us. Which makes it our job, our duty, our destiny to prepare them! I know I wrote about how I didn’t buy the mullet skirt/head chain/straw hat, but I totally should have! I should NOT let anyone else tell me what I should or shouldn’t wear. If I think it’s pretty (and not too expensive, since I’m still a poor college student), I shall buy and proudly wear it!

Say NO to people all over the world wearing exactly the same, because they are afraid of standing out. Say NO to yet another day of your favourite basic jeans and a basic shirt. Experiment, create, explore, live! Viva la revolución! (Ok, maybe I’m taking this a little bit too far. But it’s true.)

Picture credits:

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Bregje Heinen for Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret got dutchified just a little bit more with the arrival of their second Dutch Angel: Bregje Heinen.
Together with oldbie Angel Doutzen Kroes, Bregje (who is only 19 years old and already accomplished more than I ever will, boohoo!) now represents the Netherlands on the catwalk most girls can only dream of.

With her gorgeous blonde locks, Bregje fits in perfectly between the other endless-legged Angels. She made her debut as an Angel presenting Victoria’s Secret’s newest bra in New York, together with fellow bombshell Candice Swanepoel -a debut Bregje passed with flying colours: see for yourself!

I say she’s got a very unique look, I like it! Although I’m from Belgium (which, fyi, is right next to Holland, and we speak the same language), I’m really proud of them! Or as they would say it: Hup Holland hup!

So what do you guys think of Bregje as an Angel so far? If you watched the VS Fashion show last year, you already had a little sneak peak of her, because she modeled back then as a regular model.

(Pictures: The Superficial and EgoTastic!)

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Dip dye, balayage, ombré,… Say what?

Today, I went to the hair salon, and right now I’m rocking a half blonde, half brunette haircut. I showed the hairdresser a few pictures I found on Pinterest, mostly pictures of Victoria’s Secret angel Lily Aldridge (I would KILL for her locks), and she managed to recreate it in a beachy, laidback manner. But if it wasn’t for the picture, I would’ve had an almost impossible time trying to explain how I wanted my hair. Kind of ombré, a bit of a subtle dip dye, mixed with balayage… -ish?

It made me realize even more how similar these styles can get. If defined individually, the difference is quite clear, yet I noticed how these terms are still not very common. A lot of people in my close environment had never heard of any of them, until I excitedly explained them. I suppose it’s a Pinterest-thing. Anyway, I assume there will still be a few among you who have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about, so I’m going to explain the different styles and dyes.

If you google any of these terms, all three searches will have a lot of pictures in common. Apparently, the line between them is very vague. In theory the distinctions are very clear, but in reality this obviously is a lot less easy.

Ombré: At this very moment, ombré is quite a hype. It’s actually a French word (of course, those fashionable French) that means  shadow. Basically, ombré in the fashion industry just means everything that fades from one into another colour, and this is not only restricted to hair: there are thousands of objects -jewellery, clothing, curtains, nail art- in ombré shades. Basically, ombré hair is supposed to be fading in a straight line -unlike with balayage, which looks rather naturally sunkissed.

 

Dip dye: The word already explains the meaning: dip dye is the process of making it seem like your hair tips were dipped in hair dye. It’s similar to ombré, but the line between the natural hair colour and the dip dye part is even straighter and harsher. The second difference between ombré and dip dye is that the latter usually uses brighter, bolder, less natural colours. Hot pink, sea green, bright orange,… Go wild!

    

Balayage: I found this one the hardest to define in words (a picture says more than a thousand words, remember?) so I went all weak pussy on this one and copied a clear definition I found on this website:

Balayage is a hair coloring technique which is designed to create very natural-looking highlights which grow out without developing a noticeable and obvious root. This coloring technique emerged in Paris in the 1970s; the word “balayage” is French for “to sweep,” a reference to the way in which the color is applied. After crossing the pond to the United States, balayage became extremely popular in the late 1990s. In the United States, you may see balayage spelled “balliage.”

When hair is colored with the balayage process, the highlights are painted on by hand in a sweeping motion which moves from the base to the tip of the hair. At the base, the color is applied very lightly, while at the tip, the color is very heavy. The result is a chunky highlight which looks naturally sunbleached, and as the hair grows out, the root will be concealed for the first few months by the thinner color applied to the base of the hair.

So, basically this means that balayage is a more natural looking ombré: highlights getting brighter near the ends of the hair.

   

But if you ever browsed these terms on Google, Pinterest, Tumblr, Weheartit or somewhere else, you will have noticed that a lot of pictures in your ‘ombré’ search look suspiciously like those in a ‘balayage’ search. And even the line between dip dye and ombré is actually very vague. One could say that all natural colours (blonde, brown, black) are ombré and all bright colours are dip dye, but what about red? Or black hair ends on a blonde girl?

But thankfully, rules are meant to be broken! The only condition to breaking rules is that you know them first. I’d say you do now, so it’s okay to mix and match whichever styles you like. Rock a balayage in bright dip dye colours? Go for it. Because to be honest, I still haven’t figured out what my hair style is called exactly.

If you have any suggestions (my picture is the first one in this article), leave ‘em in the comments below!

(As usual, all pictures were retrieved from Pinterest. I’m waaaaaaaay too addicted.)

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Photopost: Neon!

Another hype this summer are neon colours. As I love a bit of an extravagant, outstanding touch in my fashion behaviour, I’m one hundred per cent pro neon, especially yellow! (I’ve also got a slight glow stick addiction, fyi)

 

As usual, all pictures are from Pinterest or Tumblr.
Oh, and could someone pleeeeeeaaaaaase buy me that neon cambridge satchel? Thx!

 

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