award · Beauty · Coffee · Diary · Food · inspiration · Love · Makeup · nominations · Personal challenge · Shopping · Uncategorized

LIEBSTER AWARD (Q+A Plus 11 Facts about Me)

I am new to blogging, with just passing over 50 followers on WordPress and 75 on Facebook so far so I was really surprised but also honoured to be one of the 11 bloggers recently nominated the Liebster Award by Sofia whose blog is A no one’s diary.  Sofia likes writing about life, random stuff and make up and you can click on her link here  https://anoonesdiary.wordpress.com/ to find out out more about her and her lovely blog.

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The Liebster Award gives bloggers the opportunity to grow their followership by telling other bloggers a bit more about themselves and engaging with fellow bloggers through nominating them further.  It helps promote each others’ blogs. So thank you Sofia for the opportunity and I’d like to pay it forward too!

The rules are:

  • The nominated blogger must acknowledge who has nominated them and also share their links
  • Share 11 facts about themselves
  • Answer the 11 questions that they have been asked
  • Nominate 11 more bloggers whose blog they recommend
  • Ask 11 questions that they would like those bloggers to answer
  • Let the bloggers they’ve nominated know that they’ve been nominated.

So here it goes!

11 Facts about me:

  1. I started Flamenco dance classes (and took them for about 5 years) after I was inspired by watching live Flamenco dancing in Barcelona while travelling there with friends as a graduate student.
  2. I am a huge Kate Bush fan. My lifetime dream to one day see her perform live became a reality 3 years ago!
  3. When we bought an Espresso coffee machine with my husband about a year ago we started a tradition without even discussing it which we continue to this day. Everytime we open a packet of espresso coffee capsules we stack them next to the coffee machine in different formations. Every time one of us uses a capsule or adds more capsules to the kitchen counter we change the shape of the formation. I don’t know if what I’m trying to explain makes any sense so here are some photos to show you better some examples of our formations.

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4. I was a ferocious nail biter from a young age until I turned 22. Just before going to graduate school I woke up one day and thought to myself “Kiki, you’re too old to be biting your nails. Grow up and grow your nails already”. After that I grew my nails really long and have managed to quit my bad habit for good. I now love having well manicured nails and painting them different colours.

5. I love travelling and made it my goal a few years ago to travel to new destinations every year and visit as many different countries as possible. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to do this lately but so far I have visited 30 different countries (if I include my homeland Cyprus) in my 42 years of living on earth :

  • Greece
  • UK
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Luxemburg
  • Switzerlan (only passing through though)
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Malta
  • Ireland
  • Austria
  • Iceland
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • The Netherlands
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • UAE
  • USA
  • Egyp
  • Israel
  • Hungary
  • Czech Republic
  • Latvia
  • Australia (I don’t know this one escaped me. A friend who read the blog just notified me to add it)

Hopefully I will get to visit another 30 in my lifetime.

6. I once won a karaoke contest in a bar in Patra (Greece) while on a weekend get away with friends. I won singing the song “Black Velvet” by Alanah Myles. It was the highlight of my singing career.

7. My husband and I became Wombassadors ever since we came back from Sydney (Australia) after we spent 6 weeks there in 2013. Wombats are animals native only to Australia, less known than koalas but equally cute. Australian organisations that care for them depend on charity to pay for their needs and we are happy to give a donation every year and buy promotional materials as gifts from them. We also hope to hug a few wombats one day. They’re adorable.

8. I love attending live concerts. Last night I had the opportunity to watch Robbie Williams in Manchester. It was so much fun!

9. I played the cello in highschool. Even though I was pretty much useless I really enjoyed being in the symphonic orchestra.

10. In case you haven’t realised already I love make-up.

11. I am a big foodie so I have been struggling with my weight for most of my life. Dieting is a real challenge for me. So in order to look nice for my wedding (which was in October 2016) I purposely ordered my wedding dress a size smaller. Setting that goal was the only way to lose weight but I still had to join a gym and exercise 2 hours a day, every day in the month leading up to the wedding to fit in it. Thankfully the hard work paid off and the dress did not rip when I wore it on the big day.

Now, on to Part 2. The questions assigned to me were:

  1. What’s your guilty pleasure?

There’s so many to choose from. From chocolate, coffee, cakes … but the one that my husband finds worrying is my fascination with murder mysteries whether they are real life or fiction (reading about them or watching series and documentaries). He thinks I’m disturbed.

2. Describe your first kiss.

I am over 40 so it was a very long time ago but I’m sure it was awkward and I probably didn’t breathe during my first kiss as I wouldn’t know what to do.

3. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I love this question! When I was a child I wanted to be a fashion designer. Then I grew up, studied Psychology and HRM and followed a 20 year career in Human Resource Management. Growing up even further my dream I guess would be to become an exceptional and renowned make-up artist.  But it’s probably only going to stay just a dream.  But dreaming never hurt anyway so I’ll keep on dreaming.

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4. Most cringey situation.

I think I’ve had quite a few of those that I’d rather forget or have a selective memory of!

5. Tell us a secret!

When I was doing my Master’s degree as a graduate student I wanted to dye my hair bright red (the Coca-Cola can colour kind) but was too scared I wouldn’t be taken seriously. I resorted to going for 1 blue strand instead. I thought it would look cool against my dyed blue-black hair. It was a botched attempt at the dormitory. I tried to bleach a strand of my (already dyed) blue black hair and then dying it blue on top. I ended up looking ridiculous with a patch in the middle of my head looking orange/purple! After my perplexed university tutor asked me what I’d done to my hair I dyed it back to black.

6. What is the worst purchase you’ve ever made?

I’ve made a few bad purchases in my life, from buying beautiful, very expensive shoes that turned out to be uncomfortable and unwearable to make up products that turned out to be rubbish. A recent bad one that comes to mind was a L’Oreal hair spray product that’s meant to cover grey roots. It just makes a mess! I’d rather dye my roots every fortnight than use that product again.

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Sorry L’Oreal, I do like you as a brand in general but I wasn’t worth THAT product!

7. What’s the most useless talent you have?

I can’t think of any. I’d like to think that any talents I may have are useful in one way or another.

8. What trends do you hate?

Throughout the decades I’ve hated trends like shoulder pads and straight fringes on afro hair but the latest trend I can’t get over is “scouser eyebrows”.

9. Have you ever messed up, but no one ever found out it was you?

Hmm. I’m pretty sure I always fessed up to things I messed up. I’m not one to deny a mistake I’ve made. I sometimes even tend to apologise for things I didn’t do wrong rather than try to argue that I haven’t. So that’s something I need to work on.

10. What’s the worst habit you have?

Picking my spots. I don’t have the patience to let them go away naturally. I know it makes things worse but I can’t control myself. I know it’s a disgusting habit but you asked, sorry!

11. What’s your dream travel?

Going to the Seychelles. Ever since I saw a documentary from the 70s on the Seychelles islands with their dreamy beaches I’ve always wanted to go there one day for a romantic holiday.  At some point I decided that that’s where I would go for my honeymoon if I ever got married.  When I got engaged I told my (now) husband that this was my dream honeymoon destination but he wants to do a grand tour of Australia instead as he’s not interested in sitting by a beach for 2 weeks. To comprise, we’re planning (a very belated) honeymoon comprising of 2 or 3 days in Bali AND go on an adventure around Australia.

My nominees are:

  1. Ephemeral to stay
  2. maddy loves life 
  3. Life with Meg

  4. Cats and contours
  5. the girl with an accent
  6. Kim Styles Cards
  7. cassixmakeup
  8. Tales of Belle
  9. the lil beauty bean
  10. whos that girl blog
  11. hollife

and the questions I want to ask them are:

  1.  What inspired you to start your blog?
  2.  What is your favourite vice?
  3.  If you were a colour which one would it be?
  4.  How lucky are you and why?
  5. Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
  6. What was the last gift you gave someone?
  7. What is your most favourite thing about humanity?
  8. What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you recently?
  9. What inspires you?
  10. If a genie granted you 3 wishes what would you want to wish?
  11. If you were a tree, what would you be?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that those nominated have fun answering my questions and continuing the nominations!

liebsteraward2017

Beauty · Diary · Makeup · Personal challenge · Uncategorized

Make up your mind! (Part 1 of my personal challenge)

The title of this blog post came to me yesterday morning when the sound of heavy rain, (instead of sunrays through my bedroom window), woke me 20 minutes before my alarm was due to ring.  And yes, the pun is intentional.

The British weather is notorious for its unpredictability but it is mid-May and with the weather not being able to decide whether it wants to spring into summer or step back into the Ice Ages I think I’m going slightly mad! Can’t the weather make up its mind already? Not only I do not know how to dress from one day to the next, I also don’t know what make up look to go for.

I once had a one-to-one make up lesson in Cyprus with a famous local make-up artist who, amongst other useful tips and tricks he taught me on make-up, he talked to me about the winter and summer make up colour trends.  These can only work when you live in a country where seasons and weather are stable, more or less.  In Britain, they go out the window!

One day in Great Britain can contain all four seasons. Anyone who’s lived in this country knows this. As there is absolutely no straightforward winter / spring / summer / autumn seasonality in this country, sticking to fashionable colour themes to align looks with the weather seems impossible.  Equally seemingly impossible is my ability to stop buying more and more make-up products.

I love variety too much, which is why I could never stick to the same make up look on a daily basis. I would get bored if I made my face exactly the same day in, day out. My love for different looks often gets me into trouble with trying and buying new make-up products and experimenting with new looks.  As a result, I have accumulated over the years a large collection of products that is always difficult to go through and use up.  Unless I lose a lipstick or an eyeshadow (or have it stolen as it so happened once but that’s a sad and bitter story for another blog post) it’s extremely rare that I will have to buy a replacement of the same thing.  That’s because I have too much of a variety to choose from at home already.  (Foundations, concealers, mascaras, eye pencils and powders don’t fall into this category of course as they are the staples of every woman’s daily make up routine).

So, I’ve thought of a way of combating the indecisiveness of not knowing what make up look to go for while using my existing products and slowly getting rid of some.

I dare say, I’ve come up with a strategic decision on make-up usage!

I have decided that every day of each of the following 8 weeks I will use the exact same blusher and eye products.  Shocker isn’t it?! This is probably not so alien to most people. But the thought of this to me was!

Starting as of yesterday (Monday) with the 1st day of the 1st of the 8 weeks of my challenge, I will be using the same blusher Estee Lauder bronzer as blusher and a cheap and cheerful blue/grey eyeshadow palette for the eyes, my MAC Deep Truth (a sapphire deep blue) eye shadow, my mascara, my black eye pencil  as eyeliner. Only! It does not have to be the exact same look every day but I will stick to the same colour palette for eyes and cheeks.

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Cien’s 19 Blue Magic trio palette & MAC’s Deep Truth

I will continue using the same mascara (Rimmel’s Super Curler 24HR) throughout the 8 weeks, unless it runs out earlier, as mascaras have a short life and I need to use this one up before opening up the new one I recently bought.

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Mascara and bronzer/blusher

The purpose of this personal challenge is to repeatedly use the same products so that I get more use out of them before they reach their use-by-date and need throwing out.  I’m hoping that this attempt will help me spend less time thinking what make up to go for on a daily basis but also get some results in getting specific products used that otherwise would be left in my make up box unused.

But already by day 2 of the personal challenge, which was this morning, I struggled a bit.  My day did not start very well. I was already running late to get ready for work when I accidentally squirted concealer inside my eye (it really stung) and then squirted foundation all over my dress. I had to run upstairs to change into something else (still wondering if the stain will ever come out of the dress) and didn’t have time for an elaborate eye make up. I just used the silvery light blue shadow of my eyeshadow palette to apply on the eyelid and using a pencil brush I used my dark blue MAC eyeshadow as eyeliner on the upper lid for a blue feline look.  I didn’t even reach for the eye pencil. It was a struggle against time but I managed to stick to my self-administered basic rules.

I wonder how much difference the challenge will make to the usage of my products but I will be checking them all at the end of this attempt.  The end of the 8 weeks happens to fall on my birthday so it should be an interesting one.  Watch this space for Part 2 of this post in 8 weeks’ time!