Monday, November 21, 2016

Understanding Aromatherapy

I wanted to understand and find out more about Aromatherapy and, as usual, found my way to knowledge through books. I needed some short fast introduction to get acknowledged with the system and its main advantage - and eventually disadvantages and thus, my attention turned to an easy read, at least for the beginning.
This book has various basic information about this 'therapy', which for a science geek as I am it doesn't pledge in the advantage of the book and the system as such. My biggest problem was when aromatherapy was introduced as an alternative medicine technique that can help to relieve even serious illnesses. Although I recognize that there may be a certain brain trigger put into movement by specific smells, I am skeptical enough to accept that some scents can really heal instead of the classical medicine. 
Otherwise, I did find a lot of interesting recipes for cosmetic and well-being use that I will probably use for myself as well and introduce in some next posts.

Trying aroma tissues

In addition to the reading part, I also tried myself some sleep therapy tissue, by Primavera, a German company specialized in such products. I bought the Lavender Aroma Tuch for under 1 Euro at an alternative hippie store in Bamberg and kept it for a couple of months already waiting for the right moment to try it. Yesterday, too tired after an exhausting couple of days, I used it as a room fragrance. I opened the tissue and placed it on the corner of my sleeping room table . It is made of lavender and neroli oils, quite discrete fragrances, which was good as I do not fancy that much lavender. It also has organic honey extract that purposely 'helps quiet the mind with a warm, mellow scent', according to the product description. I am not sure how the mixture worked on my sleep well-being, but I did have a heavy long sleep, although I do not remember the smell and thinking about the smell at all. I do have another Primavera tissue that I will try again soon, just to make myself an idea about what it is all this 'aroma'-story about.


I satisfied my curiosity those days finding out more about Aromatherapy and most probably I will give a try to more ideas and cosmetic recipes. I've eyed, for instance, some interesting creams for dry hair. Creating a pleasant ambiance in the house is an elegant touch to the home that I would love to develop further on, by exploring various scents combinations. But I don't want to have nothing to do with the 'holistic healing' and other no-anti-medicine ideas that might be (too) easily preached by the 'aromatherapy'. To be continued...

Nail polishes for a colourful winter

I have many favourite make-up and beauty products, but I hardly can go out of the house without my nails perfectly done. For me, it is more than a personal statement, but a choice of showing my independence - more about that in a different post, maybe. Philosophy put aside, I really love to have my nails coloured and as for now, I have an impressive collection of nail polish bottles, for every occasions, time of the day and of the year. Although for the summer, I usually prefer shades of red and pink, for the long German winter, I feel the need to add more splashes of colour to my outfits. In the last days, I've played a lot with some special colours and here is my feedback for each of them.
This nail paint by Barry M Cosmetics has a surprising wall texture and beautiful colour. As long as you are getting used with the wall, raw appearance of the paint on the nails. It lasts long, but again, the first sensation of touch and sight is quite unusual, so I keep having mixed feeling about this product. It suits the early autumn pastel times and outfits. 
It is always hard to make a single choice when you visit a Kiko store, but this time, the blue nail polish bottle was easy to pick up. Blue is my favourite colour and it doesn't matter too much what it suits or not my outfit or mood of the day. It is enough to make me feel good and elegant and beautiful. It is easy to apply - in two layers - and lasts for around 3-4 days. 
Trend it up is a brand of the German DM Drugstore and this shinny chocolate nail polish is obviously in trends. This season the 3D nail polish are very fashionable, and in the next weeks I hope to complete my collection of special nail decorations with more shades. This brown has traces of gold and looks very elegant on the long as you know how to apply it. You need more than one layer and a longer waiting time to dry it. It doesn't last too long, and I need to correct it several times. For a special night out it can be a good choice though...
This lilac High Shine nail polish by Rival de Loop is one of my favourites. I love the colour, can be applied easily, from 2 strokes maximum, it lasts long and it suits a variety of outfits and occasions. It looks shiny on nails and gives an elegant outlook. If not so many colourful bottles calling my name from the closet, I would wear this nail polish over and over again.
What about you, what are your favourite nail polish colours for this winter?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Testing Temporary Tattoos from Fake Tattoos Sweden

 A couple of years back, I had a long time collaboration with the Swedish company Fake Tattoos, that ended up with a lot of temporary tattoos that I still didn't have enough time and opportunities to use. Encouraged by my first fake tattoos experience this summer, I returned to my nice packages from Sweden and started the relatively simple process of applying the tattoo. For now, I choose the infinity tattoos, a popular model as far as I remember. 
I cut my tattoo from the foil and further applied it with the face down on the skin. A water-soaked pad was apply on it and keep it on the wrist for around 4 minutes. 
Thereafter, I slowly removed the pad and the tattoo paper and I am done! The infinity tattoo shows up nicely on my wrist. The entire intervention doesn't last more than 10 minutes so if you are in a hurry before running wild at a party or dance club, consider to reserve a couple of minutes for getting one of the beautiful and inspiring tattoos available to buy online from the website. The page is available in French and German too, besides Norwegian and Swedish, thus communication is not a problem when it comes to ordering those tattoos. 
The visual effect is powerful and at least for the first hours, it looks like a real tattoo. As I decided to place it on my wrist, which is moving a lot, I undertook the risk of having it short-lived. Add water and the friction with the winter layers, and the life was even shorter. Unfortunately, my fake tattoo lasted only two days, but what two glorious day, when I temporarily looked as a fancy hipster, which in Berlin isn't that difficult at all. As I still have many tattoos to try, I may give it a new try soon, because it is never too cold to wear a fake tattoo. Even in Berlin. 
Disclaimer: Tattoos offered by Fake Tattoos, opinions, as usual, my own

Tea tree face mask by Montagne Jeunesse

The Korean-style face masks are one of my favourites, as I am guaranteed a perfect coverage as well as a higher hydration as in the case of the usual skin products. The fashion of Korean masks entered also the German markets, with a variety of products and price ranges, from 2 Euro until 100 - for Shiseido, for instance. For the weekly and daily skin care, I am for low to medium average products and thus, I decided to try a tea tree mask by Montagne Jeunesse. This 30-year old Wales-based company offers cruelty free vegan products using natural ingredients packed in attractive colourful packages at affordable prices. Those are the kind of products to use at least twice the week.
My cloth mask has a mixture of natural ingredients, among which green mint, spearmint leaf oil, algae extract, birch leaf extract and of course, the tea tree oil. It covers perfectly the face and I recommend that before use, to keep it at least 3 hours in the fridge, the refreshing effect is even stronger than when you keep it at the room temperature. 
I tried to create a quiet and pleasant ambiance to spend for at least 10 minutes with the cloth mask on my face. I closed the eyes, deep breath and ready to give myself my personal quarter of an hour of home spa. Even the baby understood that something special is going on and after looking at my funny white covered face, he gave me a little break while playing with his stuffed toys. 
As for me, I went through a variety of sensations, not all of them relaxing. The smell is pleasant and refreshing, an oily mint that it awakes the senses while folding you in a cloud of relaxation. From minute 3, the skin went through moderate to hot fire, with sparkling pinches popping up all over the face covered by the cloth. You should take care to avoid any contact with the eyes, as the mixture is strong enough to burn a bit, although for a very short time. Somehow, the smell balances the strange sensations going on the skin, but I must confess that the last 2 minutes were quite hard, as every minute I wanted to take the mask off and get my 'freedom' back.
The effects on the skin were more than satisfying: the skin looks better and younger and cleaner, the pores are cleansed and the level of hydration was good enough for a couple of good coming days. 
As for now, I am considering to test other masks by Montagne Jeunesse, not only because are made in one of my favourite parts of the world, Wales.

Winter scarfs knitting ideas

I am a bit fan of knitting, particularly during the cold winter months. I acquired the ability of knitting at an early age, from my nanny and although I am not a dedicated knitter - I can easily spend more than five years of my life without practising it - my basic skills, plus the art of knitting without looking at the stitches, while reading or watching TV - are still with me, since being seven years old.
Now, with a baby that needs a lot of new things all the time, I brought back from the memories closet my stitches and started various simple projects - as for now. My main focus is to create simple things that are needed for the cold season, done with a touch of style and fashion. I also don't plan to spend too much time by trying complicated patterns, as I am overwhelmed by too many personal and professional projects.
I checked in my and baby's wardrobe to see what we are missing for the season and realized that the scarfs aren't necessarily suited for the minus two digit temperature that we are supposed to expect sooner than later. As the project is a beginner level, without a bigger financial investment, I also decided to buy some cheap products from the 1 Euro shop in order to check my skills and achievements first. I've found a very convenient solution, the 100% polyester micro by Gründl, a German company. 
It was a challenge though, that I fully accepted: how to deal with the pompons. At the time of finishing my scarf, I already knew how to do it, without looking at the stitches. The secret is to don't cast the stitches in the usual manner. You need to use the bar to position loops round the needle. Ager a couple of rows, the pompons are setting by themselves and you learn how to offer enough space for a better result. For a basic scarf you need two lots of 50 g. The scarfs should not be ironed, and need to be washed at 30 degrees.
Me and the baby, we are very happy with our warm scarves and I look forward to create more knitting works in the next weeks and months.
Happy knitting!

Fish glass sculptures by Lalique

An exquisite French brand more than a century old, Lalique extended its production in the last years, including also fragrances as well as houseware. Created by Rene Jules Lalique at the beginning of the 20th century, the enterprise was initially focused on glass and jewelry production. Inspired by Antiquities and Japonism, Lalique permanently expanded its arts and techniques, including by adding traditional enamel layers to the glass, as well as patina and used stained glass. 
In 1921, he created the Alsace Glassworks - Verrerie d'Alsace - the world's only Lalique factory until today. His art received international recognition at the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts. 
Among other products part of the brand, the Fish is a historical and iconic piece of the Lalique world. It first appeared in turquoise, and re-issued in an extensive palette of colored crystal, among others saphir, lilac, khaki, pink, fuchsia, antinea, like green, opalescent or mint green. Nowadays, there are enough fish variations to populate a special crystal acquarium. The fish - or cachet poisson in the original French language -, a delicate presence weighting around 500 Gr. can be purchased from the website of Lalique or from any Lalique stores - in Berlin, it is available at the KaDeWe for 75 Euro. Colourful and created by simple lines, it is a stylish decoration for any part of the house, particularly the living room. If placed near a source of light, it can create even greater effects. 
Until the 2000s, Lalique remained a family business, until it was acquired by Art&Fragrance managed by Silvio Denz. Since 1977, it also included fragrances as part of the brand, offering a variety of perfumes carrying the famous label. A special Art Division was launched in the last years, aimed at attracting young glass artists and creative minds. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What is tempeh?

Source: en. wikipedia. org
A couple of days ago, I made a special purchase from my favorite Asian store: I bought a batch of tempeh. At the first sight, it looks a bit unusual, with the little white-brownish soy beans covered by a white crust. This inexpensive fermented soy beans curd has a firm and chewy consistency. It is nutty, with slightly more calories as the usual soy. Compared to the tofu soy cheese, it has a different texture and is mostly suited for frying or accompanying various vegetable dishes, suh as asparagus, fresh tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, fried mushrooms. I also tried to taste it not-fried, but found it a but unappealing, as the soy taste is altered by the fermentation process and could be a bit sour. It can be fried together with an egg too. I am also thinking about a burger version, as a meat replacement. 
A tempeh bacon version is also available. 
Tempeh is also kosher, but not for Pesach. 
It should be kept in the fridge, but use it within maximum 2 days within opening. My loaf come sealed in two plastic bags and I kept it this way in the fridge, at a normal cold temperature.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Product review: Aqua Kiss by Victoria's Secret

Easy to use and in a good looking package - at least at the first sight - Aqua Kiss by Victoria's Secret is a fresh and sparkling fragrance. Easy to use in the morning or in the evening, it creates the same impression of dynamic presence and young-at-heart bubbling personality. I personally use it in the morning, after the shower, and the scent itself makes me feel energized and in a conquering-the-world mood. I suppose I send the same message to the ones who feel my scent too.
The fragrance was created as a mixture of rain kissed fressia and daisy. Fressia is usually a very strong scent, but it seems that the right dosage was happily chosen here.
As for the bottle....It has a nice design with an image of blue flowers reflected and magnified by the liquid, but from close-by it is made of a relatively cheap plastic...For the 250 ml. bottle, the spray part can be easily damaged and it takes time to turn it round and round until it works properly. 
The Aqua Kiss fragrance is also available as shower gel and fragrance lotion.
In Germany, it is available by the Douglas stores, for around 15 EUR.