Sunday, 23 October 2011

brand highlights.

Today's brand highlight will be Luview Cosmetics, a Korean based brand founded in 2010. Their image combines both a modern and active approach, which is able to attract women from their twenties to their thirties. The meaning behind their name reflects two of the ideas that this brand lives by: LU+VIEW equals Luminous View, through the use of the oriental colors (ingredients). Their product's formulas are carefully chosen out of natural ingredients, seeking the beauty and health of the skin. The Oriental Secret is indeed the formula behind their products. They extract their colors from natural minerals all over Asia: amethyst, pearls, crystal, coral, and jade are some of the minerals used. The use of these ingredients helps to detoxify the skin. On the other hand, the use of botanical tea extracts helps the skin to rejuvenate: calendula, aloe, ginseng, and safflower are some of the extracts used. This brand’s image and marketing power are two aspects that eventually got my attention as well, since this brand has indeed an intelligent and active presence in the cosmetic’s market.
I've always been quite curious about Asian cosmetics brands, and I’ve always wanted so try some of these products. However, it’s almost impossible to find these types of brands in Europe. Korean products are already a growing market here in Portugal: there are already a lot of faithfull fans. However, the only way of buying these products is through online stores.
I was lucky enough to win a giveaway sponsored by Luview Cosmetics, and as part of the prize, I was able to pick two of their products (a face primer and a BB cream). I have incorporated both of these products in my make up routine for almost a month now. I will leave all of my considerations about these two products for their respective reviews, which I’ll be writing really soon. Nevertheless, I would like to say that I’m actually thinking of exchanging the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + foundation that used to be part of my routine, for the Luview Crystal Cover BB cream. Not only the quality is absolutely superb, in the sense that I even saw some improvements on my skin, but also their image is quite elegant and ladylike. For all of you Korean’s cosmetics lovers out there, this is indeed a growing brand worth checking out.   

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

summer days in the fall.

We are now in the middle of October, and the weather has been strangely hot. In fact, the weather has been much warmer than the weather we had back in August. For Fall lovers like me, this is truly a nightmare.
This was my attempt to achieve more of a Fall look.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

from me to you.

I am a happy person everytime the mailman decides to visit my house. There isn't a better feeling than receiving a letter from one of your friends. Days without mail, are normally days without that bit of excitement prior to the reception of each letter. I find myself waiting desperatly for the hour when the mailman arrives. I basically turn into a kid every now and then. That's why everyday seems like Christmas.
It has been almost an year since I started this big adventure. I've started with only two regular pen pals, both from South Korea: Bin was the first one, and then Meridith came into my life. A couple of months later, Sara from Australia. And then Sabrina from Germany. Isabella from Poland, Priscilla from Italy, Cynthia from the United States. And the last three: Mina from Japan, Daniel from South Korea, and my dear Tabitha from the United States. I feel blessed in every possible way. Pen palling changed my life and the way I've been seeing and perceiving it. It made me appreciate all the other small things, even all of my own battles. My heart just feels warmer, fuller, happier. Blessed, and forever grateful.

Friday, 7 October 2011

vianna coffee.

And we keep on going through my vacation's photos. This time the stop is in Braga, specifically at the Vianna Coffee. This is one of the most emblematic places in Braga, and also one of the oldest coffees in town. This coffee was founded back in 1871, almost 140 years ago. Important names of our literature, such as Eça de Queirós and Camilo Castelo Branco, would attend this place in a regular basis.
This is indeed the place to go, especially if you're looking for Portuguese traditional dishes, such as francesinhas, a Portuguese sandwich created back in the 1960's. It was originally created in OPorto, by a returned emigrant. The recipe’s ingredients include bread, ham, fresh sausage, steak or roast meat, covered with molten cheese, and served with french fries. A classic francesinha would consist on a sandwich, surrounded on a bed of chips. The sauce itself is a major secret, with each house or restaurant having its variation. The only common ingredient is beer.
I have to admit that this is one of my all time favorite traditional dishes. This is not a common dish in Lisbon, so I spend months without eating it. But every time we visit any northern cities, this has to be part of the menu.
Vianna Coffee has indeed the ability to take us back into the golden years of other ages, while we enjoy the greatness of the Portuguese traditional cuisine.


Sunday, 2 October 2011


My Lip Stuff is a natural and animal-friendly brand, specialized in delivering to their costumers, handmade quality products, such as their lip balms. Their mission lays in three different principles: the end of dry, chapped lips, and therefore their customer’s satisfaction; the environment’s protection, by the use of natural ingredients; and the animal’s protection. Their aim is, in this sense, to produce skin-friendly, animal-friendly, and eco-friendly products, with high standards of quality. Once again, their products don’t contain any harsh ingredients or chemicals, which allow all people to use them. It can also be used by vegans, since some of their balms use candelilia wax in their formula, instead of beeswax. They have also available lip balms for men and children. This brand has indeed considerable preoccupations, not only with their costumer’s satisfaction, but also with the surrounding world: “In the end, we strive to create a natural product made from only the highest quality ingredients, with the least amount of impact on the environment and its inhabitants, for the lowest possible price”.
Regarding their lip balms, there is over 500 flavours and there are even some fun thematic labels, such as the Horoscope Lip Balms and the Days of the Week Balms (among many others). Besides, you can also request for a special flavour. Before carrying on with the product’s review, I would like to tell you a little bit more about this brand’s story, which shows a lot of determination and character. My Lip Stuff was established back in 1999, by its creator, Brea. The brand started as a hobby, and as a result of Brea’s goal in producing her own natural products. After this, the development of her brand went through some ups and downs, especially due to a complicated pregnancy. My Lip Stuff was born due to a single parent’s strength, motivation, and dedication. Nowadays, it even has distributors in Malaysia.
I’ve received three different lip balms for review purposes: the Almond Croissants lip balm, the Cinnamon Roll lip balm, and the Peach Cheesecake lip balm. I was really excited for trying these products, since I’m one of those people who have really chapped lips during the entire year. Sometimes it’s really uncomfortable and even painful (and I even bleed from my lips). The first thing that really caught my attention was definitely the scent of these. Cinnamon Roll and Peach Cheesecake smell heavenly. In this sense, the scents are absolutely true to the name of each balm. The first one, smells exactly like cinnamon and reminds me so much of winter and especially Christmas. Therefore, I’m saving this one for this season! Peach Cheesecake was simply perfect for summer. It has such a light, yet sweet scent. Believe it or not, these also taste exactly like their scents. Unfortunately, and due to personal preferences, I didn’t like the Almond Croissants one, simply because I don’t like almonds. Regarding its formula, I have to say that it’s absolutely incredible. These were the most moisturizing lip balms that I’ve ever tried in my whole life! It instantly softens the lips, providing the essential moisture, while leaving a glossy effect on your lips. These are absolutely great to use at night, before going to bed. In this sense, it will work as a night treatment and you’ll wake up with softer lips. I’ve been using it this way, but also during the day. Just keep in mind that it’s better if you won’t apply it right before lipstick, because it’s a little bit slippery. Normally, I will applied it first, and apply the lipstick only 20 minutes later. However, you can also apply it after lipstick and by this, you will skip lip gloss. As I referred before, this is also a great product for being used on its own, due to its glossy texture. Regarding the packaging, I feel that it’s great for keeping inside your make up bag: it’s small, so it won’t take that much space.
This is one of those products that were indeed a pleasant surprise. Therefore, I do recommend it to everyone with really chapped, dehydrated lips. My lip’s condition has improved quite a lot. My lips have truly become less chapped, more moisturized, and healthy. You can buy a 15 oz. (about 425 grams) tube at their website, for $2.50 each.