Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: Heartless by Gail Carriger

I have written a review about Gail Carriger book before, it was called Soulless (see here). I really enjoyed that book and it was no different with this one!

On the back cover it says:
Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barley has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.
Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldam's second best closet?
As I mentioned in my review for Soulless, Gail Carriger has written several other books with the same characters. They are Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless and Timeless. There are as well two volumes of manga that are based on these books. 

I had the same problem with this book as I had with the first one, there are endless amount of characters that have first and last names and the names are used at random! However, that is the only thing that I didn't like about the book! 

The story line is fantastic! The character are amazing! I even laughed out loud frequently when I was reading the book! Just marvelous! 

"Struck with a sudden inspiration, Lady Maccon yelled to her lupine spouse, "My love, lead them off. Go for the lime pit." She remembered Conall complaining to her about running into the pit by accident only a few nights previous, singeing all the hair of his forefeet." Page 23
"Even prior to her marriage, Miss Ivy Hisselpenny's social position had prevented her from attending events of high standing, while Miss Alexia Tarabotti had suffered under the yoke of such events. As far as Ivy was concerned, this yielded up a poor quality and quantity of gossip." Page 89
In these two quotes Alexia, the main character, is mentioned as Lady Maccon and as Miss Alexia Tarabotti! It is quite annoying if you haven't read the previous books and don't really know that Lady Maccon maiden name was Miss Tarabotti.

"She was confined to her bed with a splint and barley water and told that on no account was she to move for an entire week. Worse, she was also told that she was to lay off tea for the next twenty-four hours, as imbibing any hot liquid was bound to increase the swelling. Alexia called the doctor a quack and threw her bad cap at him. He retreated, but she knew perfectly well that Cornall and the rest at Woolsey would see that his instructions were obeyed to the letter" Page 167
All in all this book is great, it has a good story, it is well written and it is funny! I would definitely recommend it and I am thinking about reading her other books in this series!


P.S. Check out how I am doing with my A-Z list here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Perfume Challenge Update #1

Last Wednesday I started my Perfume Challenge, it was a mission to use up my perfume samples and to find perfumes that I like!

There are two opinions that I take into consideration about these perfumes and that is do I like them and does Mr. Handsome my taller and tanner half like them. I don't want to wear a perfume that he really doesn't like and I definitely won't wear one that I really don't like.

I will judge the perfumes by if I like them, if Mr. Handsome likes them and their durability.

Guerlain - Insolence 
Fragrance notes:  violet, raspberry, red fruit pulp, rose, orange blossom, iris, tonka bean, musk and sandalwood

Durability: It lasted throughout the day but I felt it might need a top up around lunch time.

Mr. Handsome: Meh
Me: Meh, it smells good but it just doesn't have that special something that I want in perfumes, it is somehow too bland. It does grow on me, when I had it on again later during the week I did like it.
Verdict: Will not buy it

Mariah Carey - M

Fragrance notes: marshmallow, tiare flower, wet gardenia petals, sheet amber, infused with spicy, woody accents of Moroccan incense.

Durability: Medium. It lasted for about 3-4 hours. 

Mr. Handsome: Yes
Me: Almost, it smells quite nice but it isn't a perfume that I would like to wear everyday!
Verdict: Don't think I will buy it. I am on the edge on this one. 

Hermès - Un Jardin Sur Le Toit
Fragrance notes: green grass, apple, pear, rosemary, magnolia, rose, compost.

Durability: I could smell it on my skin for 5-6 hours, horrendous hours.

Mr. Handsome: Didn't even ask him to smell me with this crap on. 
Me: Hell NO, it smells like toilet cleaner! Disgusting. No wonder they describe it smelling like Paris because Paris smells like piss! 

Dior - Hypnotic Poison
Fragrance notes: Bitter Almond, Caraway Spice, Sambac Jasmine, Cinnamon, Tuberose, Vanilla, Musk, Mosses, Jucarunda Wood.

Durability: Amazing! Lasted the entire day and into the evening. 

Mr. Handsome - "meh, smells to much like candy" (direct quote), he as well asked if there was vanilla in it (hates the smell of vanilla).
Me. Yes
Verdict:I like it a lot but I don't plan on buying a bottle since it does have vanilla in it. 

DSQUARED² - She Wood
Fragrance notes: violet leaf, jasmine petals, lemon, violet blossom, cedar wood, heliotrope, musk, vetiver, vegetal amber, neroli bigarade.

Durability: Sprayed decent amount on around 10 AM and by 12 AM I couldn't smell it on me anymore. 

Mr. Handsome: Yes.
Me: No, it was to unisex for me and didn't last long enough.
Verdict: Will not buy it

The general verdict for this week is that none of these perfumes are going on my wishlist! I did finish all the samples except Hermès - Un Jardin Sur Le Toit because it made me nauseous and gave me a headache!

My next week perfumes are:

Guerlain - Shalimar Parfum Initial L'Eau
Giorgio Armani -  Acqua di Gioia
Biotherm - Eau D'Énergie
Estée Lauder - Sensuous
La Prairie - Silver Rain

Monday, February 25, 2013

February Favorites

Last month I wrote my first ever favorite beauty related post (see here). I really liked writing it so here is my February Favorites! Same as last month I picked my five top products for the month.

1 - Candida - Mojito
This is a toothpaste from the supermarket. Why is it on my February favorite list? Well, it tastes freaking amazing! I just love it! It is a limited edition toothpaste that was a brainchild of a customer and because Migros (the supermarket) is just amazing they decided to make it. It tastes minty (but not tongue burning minty but like fresh mint leaves) with a hint of lime! Just amazing! 

Candida is one of the brands that Migros owns. They make toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, dental floss and even chewing gum. It is my go to with everything that I use for my teeth! Yes their name is nasty but they make great products! They have frequently limited edition toothpastes that are amazing, previously I have tried their green apple toothpaste that was as well limited edition and it was amazing, I really miss it. I just hate spearmint and that kind of toothpastes that (in my opinion) burn the tongue. 

2 - I am - Intensiv-handcrème
This is as well a store-brand from Migros (they are great). This hand cream has shea butter, panthenol and vitamin E. It is a really good moisturizer for super dry hands (I even sometimes use it on my face in lotion emergencies). It doesn't have too much of a scent and it is quickly absorbed into the skin!

It is one of my go to hand creams since the jar is really sturdy so I can without any worry for it to explode (hate when that happens) into my bag! Another nice factor about it is that it is made in Switzerland!

3 - Mavala - Cuticle Oil 
I think this month has a trend of Swiss products! I swear by the Cuticle Oil from Mavala! The oil is absorbed quickly into the skin and doesn't leave oily residue! One bottle is 10ml / 0.3 fl. oz and it has a brush that is similar to nail polish brushes so there is no waste of oil! The brush is as well great since when you use it there is zero mess! The oil has a hint of citrus smell that just makes the whole oiling your cuticles experience even better!

4 - La Lutinerie - Les Bonbecs - Tchaï
I got this lip balm on Christmas, it is made in Switzerland as well! It is made out of shea butter, beeswax, apricot kernel oil, coconut butter, grapefruit seed extract, cinnamon, cardamom and clove. It smells amazing and really helps with dry lips. It comes in a small 5 ml (0.17 oz) jar but it seems endless. I have been using it nonstop since Christmas and there isn't even a dent in the balm.

5 - Mavala - 130 Aqua Blue
I love this colour! I will do a nail post on it this week. I am almost finished with the bottle! Sadly because of my nail polish challenge I won't be able to buy it again for some time now. I love the little Mavala bottles, the brush that they come with are fabulous, the bottles are 5 ml (0.17 oz) and sometimes that is the perfect amount of nail polish in a bottle!

I actually can't believe that my top five products for February are all Swiss products!

If you have a February Favorite post please do post it in the comments so I can check it out!


Photo An Hour - 23. February 2013

The third goal on my Things Before My 25th Birthday list was to 'Do a Photo an Hour challenge every month (12 times December 2012 - November 2013)' Well, I didn't manage to do that for December 2012 and January 2013. I am not going to say that this goal is now failed! I am going to try harder to remember for the next 10 months and maybe I will manage to do 2 some months and reach my goal of 12 Photo An Hour posts!

10 AM - A morning tea, gets me up and going in the morning.

11 AM - Double veggie burger! Seriously the best burger I've had in awhile!

12 PM - Just showered, my dark circles underneath my eyes make it sometimes look like I have got a black eye! Nothing better than using a towel to dry my hair!

1 PM - Reading the Scarlet Letter with different coloured highlighter to emphasize different things.

2 PM - Mr. Handsome has a math exam soon that we are studying for!

3 PM- Snacktime! Cucumber and cream cheese!

4 PM - More Math!

 5 PM - Cloudy as hell outside but the windows let in so much light that it didn't matter.

6 PM - Snacktime and studying some Linguistics. 

 7 PM - Castevania

 8 PM - Noodles!

 9 PM - Quick and easy work out!

 10 PM - Going out!

11 PM - Drinks 

12 AM - More driiinks!

All in all it was a great day and I am glad that I manage to do a Photo an Hour day!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

100 Days of Decluttering Update #3

- Posted a picture of all the books that I am selling on Facebook.

Thrown away (and the reason why)
- Claire's Claire's Cosmetics Chip Resistance - B45 (awful nail polish - wrote about it here
- Blue hooded sweatshirt (was damaged and it was time for it to be thrown out)
- Elizabeth Arden - Ceramide Plump Perfect ( an old sample) 

Otherwise Accomplished 
- I started a Perfume Challenge and Nail Polish Challenge to help me go through all the perfume samples and nail polishes that I own!
- I have been focusing on using things that I sometimes forget that I actually have, for examples lighting the candles that are around.

Tomorrow I only have two months left of my challenge so I really need to start doing something!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Face of the Day #1 - Clinique/Couleur Caramel/Yves Rocher

I like writing about make-up on Mondays and I call that Make-Up Mondays, but most of the time I want to write make-up reviews. At the same time I love everything about Face of the Day make-up posts so I have decided to have once in a while a Face of the Day post that won't be part of the Make-Up Monday series!

So to what I am wearing on my face!

Clinique - Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion - 50 ml/$14
Clinique - Age Defense BB Cream - Shade 01 - $37 - Reviewed

Clinique - High Impact Mascara - Black - $16
Couleur Caramel - Eye and Lip Liner - Brown
Yves Rocher - Couleurs Nature -Highlighter and Shimmer Powder Duo - Éclat Rosé

Yves Rocher -  Couleurs Nature - Intense Color Gloss - Rouge Magma - $17

I use the Shimmer from my Highlighter and Shimmer Powder Duo on my eyes because I just love how it looks, the shimmer has tremendous amount of pigments and it is just fantastic to use as an eye shadow!  I love the Intense Color Gloss from Yves Rocher, I have it in one other colour and actually might write a review about them soon! They are just great!

And because I love swatches! Some swatches.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: After Mary By Katharine McMahon

I can't really remember why I decided to read this book but I do not regret it! This is the first book on my a-z list that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I think it must have been the book summary at the back cover that made me want to read it, on the back it says:
Seventeenth-century England is a turbulent country, rife with treachery and violence, where persecuted Catholics flee for their lives, mass is said secretly in attic rooms and a plot is hatched to kill the King.

In London, young Isabel Stanhope leads a double life. Her father, a favoured courtier of James I, expects her to marry a distant cousin, the gloriously elusive Francis Bourne. But during the tense summer of 1605, Isabel is sent to stay with her devoutly Catholic grandmother. One morning, she witnesses the arrival of a stranger, the charismatic priest Peter Carisbroke, and falls immediately under his spell.

Isabel - torn between duty and a young woman's passionate, but forbidden, longing - struggles to make her choice. Eager for experience and love, she sets out on a journey which takes her from the temptations of Jacobean London to a Europe torn apart by war. But has Isabel made the right decision? Has she really followed her heart?

In this sumptuous, enthralling novel, Katharine McMahon portrays a fascinating world of self-sacrifice, betrayal and intrigue, where the consequences of love turn life upside-down.

The story is amazing, it is split into four parts, Powder (1605), Mary Mary (1609), Galloping Girls (1617) and Praxedes (1621). It follows the journey of Isabel, through her struggles with faith and other struggles. It has historical accurate characters which give the story the reality it need and Katherine McMahon managed to grab my mind and I actually looked up a lot of the characters just so I could know more about them.
"Men's heads. From ragged skin waved hair and beards, in place of lips were gaping grins and tatty lumps of flesh dangled from severed necks. People stared up, fascinated." Page 74
This quote demonstrates the only thing that annoyed me with this book, Isabel father is always mentioned as Sir William, but all of a sudden just in this quote he is mentioned as Stanhope, it took me awhile to realize that Sir William was Stanhope.  
"Her attention had drifted away from him but she awoke abruptly to the realization that she was in danger. Stanhope's hatred for Thomasina was shocking. Crossing the carriage with a spring he sat beside Isabel so that his weight on her huge skirt pinned her to the seat. His hand came up and plucked at her face, pinching the flesh of her cheek between thumb and finger. 'Where did you go yesterday?'" Page 96 
"Praxedes was easy to read. She had a way of making herself significant by assuming insignificance. Her smiles were rare and she skimmed from place to place like a shadow. To make time for more prayer, she slept only two hours a night and the flaming hair that always escaped just a little from her cap was a poignant and beautiful contrast to her huge green eyes and fragile white skin" Page 195 
As I said before, I really liked this book. The characters grabbed me and I got to see how they grew and evolved before my eyes! Amazing!

Have you read any good books lately?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Perfume Challenge

Are you sick of all the challenges that I am trying to accomplish? I just feel that when I challenge myself it is more likely I will succeed!

I have way way too many perfume samples! So as a part of my 100 Days of Decluttering I have decided to go through my perfume samples and decide on which perfumes I like (and might buy in the future) and which I don't like (and won't ever buy). I think I have about seventy samples, and if I use five a week it will take me fourteen weeks just to test them all!

Every week I plan on using five samples and hopefully I will find some that I will love!

This week the samples that I will be using are:

Guerlain - Insolence
Mariah Carey - M
Hermès - Un Jardin Sur Le Toit
Dior - Hypnotic Poison
DSQUARED² - She Wood

Next Wednesday I will post about my thoughts about these perfumes and post my next five contestants!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nail Polish: Claire's Cosmetics Chip Resistance Nail Polish Colours B45 and B57

Since I started my Nail Polish Challenge I decided to jump into the deep end and just start right away! I decided to start with these Claire's Nail Polish. I only have these two colours from them, B57 which is the glittery yellow and B54 which I have been debating in  my head if it is orange or peach. 

I love the yellow glittery one, it has enough glitter for me (I can't stand chunky glitter) and the nail polish itself has a good consistency. I put on two coats and the nail polish wasn't too thick. I could easily have put on another coat if I wanted but I liked how it looked with just two coats.

But the peach/orange one is just horrible, the nail polish itself is somehow sticky and just doesn't work. I can't seem to use the polish on my entire nail because of its stickiness. Even just one coat is just too thick. And with only one coat it is uneven and is see-through in some spots, and with two or more it just becomes way to thick! In one word: horrible!

From left Claire's Cosmetics Chip Resistance - B45, Claire's Cosmetics Chip Resistance - B57, Mavala - Incolore

I have now thrown the orange/peachy one away since it is just horrible. However, I am keeping the yellow one! I love that one!

I as well used my favorite top coat, Incolore from Mavala!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Nail Polish Challenge

I've been a bit under the weather for the past weeks and just haven't had the energy to write! One morning I feel better and the next morning BAM I have a stuffed nose again! Horrible.  

Since I am trying to do my best with my 100 Days of Decluttering Challenge I wanted to add another challenge that kind of follows it (can you tell I love challenges!) This one is about my nail polish stash, the other day I was reading this post by Louise over at Make Up Etc, and realized that I have as well way to many nail polishes but most of the time I just grab the usual one and use it. 

I thought about what kind of nail polish challenge I should set for myself, I wanted to use up the polishes that I have and become better at using nail polishes. 

So, the goals for my Nail Polish Challenge are
- Start cataloging my nail polishes by taking pictures and writing a Nail Polish type of post.  
- Start using the Nail Stickers I own more and write about it. 
- Not buying any new nail polish until I have finished the nail polishes that I do have.
- I am allowed to buy a new nail strengthener/top coat if I finish the ones that I own.
- Throw away nail polishes that I hate. 

So, at the moment I own twenty-eight nail polishes, two nail strengthener and two topcoats!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

100 Days of Decluttering Update #2

This week I feel like I have accomplished a lot but the truth is I didn't really accomplish that much. 

- A friend of mine is coming over to take a look at all my books and choose the ones she wants.

Thrown away (and the reason why)

- L'Oréal Paris - Elséve - Damage Care Repairing Serum for Split Ends (I don't know the ingredients in this and I am sure there are things in there that I just don't want in my Water-Only hair)      
- L'Oéal Paris - Extra Volume Collagene (Dried up and old) 
- Benefit - BADgal Plum Mascara - Deep Plum (Very little left and old) 
- Yves Rocher - Couleurs Nature - Curl Extender Mascara - 03 Bleu (Dried up and old)
- Yves Rocher - Luminelle - Eye Liner - Bleu Intense  51
- Covergirl -Exact Eyelights Eye-Brightening Mascara - Black Ruby 725 (Never liked it, dried up)
- Bourjois - Coup de Théâtre - 11 Noir Diva (Hated it, dried up)
Lancôme - Virtuôse - Noir Sensuel (Very little left and old)
- Clinique - Superfit Makeup - 05 Neutral (Loved it but it isn't the right tone anymore)
- Clinique - Box from powder (powder long finished and I have other powders that are in a box) 
- Four Points by Shearton - Clean - Lotion (From our road-trip summer 2011, don't know why I kept it) 

Otherwise Accomplished 
- Got some part time extra jobs! 
- Started using nail polish again! 
- Knitted a lot! 

This week I really need to start going through my clothes and take pictures etc. 


About the Giveaway
The winner was Winda! Thank you all for participating! I will definitely have another giveaway soon!

P.S. Check out my previous posts about my 100 Days of Decluttering Challenge
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