This is turning out to be a week of introspection (see my last blog entry) here on Hey Pretty… but you know what? Sometimes, when I get really stressed out and have a thousand deadlines to meet, I tend to procrastinate in a really «woke» way: First, I had a thousand things to say about body positivity… and THEN I decided that, instead of finally getting around to opening that scary envelope from the Tax Department of the Swiss government…
I simply HAD to spend an hour trawling YouTube for the best Disney Princess Song medley.
I mean, it happens to us all, right?
Okay, maybe not. Maybe you don’t secretly long to be a Disney princess and are dead inside and really just wanted to see Essie’s new Gel Couture «Enchanted» collection for spring 2018?
Well, here you go, you emotional iceberg, afloat ALL ALONE IN THE ARCTIC SEA!
This wintery collection is still perfectly fitting for the chilly spring here in Switzerland, so the new Gel Couture range and its six inspired-by-fairy-tales pastel shades is perfectly pretty and perfectly NOW!
Here are the shades in close-up:
Matter of Fiction, an icy pale pink and Princess Charming, a creamy blush-pink with blue undertones…
…the winter-sky-ish grey-blue Once Upon A Time the light mossy-green Spellbound, which features a beautiful gold shimmer…
…and the «give me your crown RIGHT NOW»-gold Daring Damsel, and the deep, almost-black red Good Knight
Some quick ball gown porn for all you princess-wannabes, and then we’ll do a bit of swatching!
I was in a bit of a hurry and not in a pink mood, so I chose the mysterious greenish-grey Spellbound – which kind of reminds me of Ursula of «The Little Mermaid» (she’s my spirit animal)…
Oooh, I LIKE! It’s restrained enough to work for the office, but is surprisingly glam, close-up. Especially in direct sunlight!
As all Gel Couture nail polishes by Essie, these new shades are formulated to be used without a base coat. I would highly recommend that you do use the Gel Couture Top Coat to seal them, which is available in a new, even tougher Platinum Grade Finish.
Fun fact: I actually use Essie’s Gel Couture Top Coat for all my manicures. It’s quite simply the best top coat out there right now!
Can I sneak in one last super-princess-worthy GIF?
What’s that? That’s too much for you? MY GOD.
I feel sorry for your future prince. He’s been counting on you coming to save him!
In that case, I’ll go put on my tiara and pop out for a gallon of milk. Do you need anything… or do your servants take care of that?
Hold on to your hats, sweet readers, because today’s blog post is one of those «dear diary» missives, as I like to call them. No product review or roundup of my favorite pink sofas, but rather the kind of feature that may seem a little bit voyeuristic and a LOT self-indulgent.
I honestly try to avoid writing stuff like this (even though I can see that personal posts are more successful than mascara reviews: I CAN CHECK MY STATS!), because I’ve defined my role as a beauty blogger pretty clearly for the past five years: I’m your beauty expert, not the girl you went to high school with who keeps calling you when she needs to vent.
But I’ve decided that today’s subject is just too important – and too current – for me not to share my thoughts on it: It’s about Body Positivity. Or rather: my relationship with my body, and how it may affect my teenaged daughters Mia and Lily.
Fact No. 1: I’m fat. Not just «curvy», but properly fat.
Fact No. 2: I’d like to be skinnier, but…
Fact No. 3: I honestly like myself the way I am.
I’ve often wondered why I have the self-esteem of a 25-year-old Israeli supermodel, who may also have a PhD in molecular biology. I honestly don’t know, but I’ve always been this way. And the older I get (I’m 44), the happier I am that I truly like myself. Because it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that my brain seems to be wired differently that a lot of women’s.
I know what you’re thinking right now: «How nice for you, Steffi. How about I let loose some balloons for you and all your self-love». But all this self-awareness has a current relevance that made me want to write this, because I’m not just a blogger, but also (or rather, foremost) I’m a mom of two wonderful, sometimes pesky but always fascinating girls. Or rather, young women.
And I’ve started to wonder how the fact that their mom is fat, but happy affects their own self-esteem and body image.
Mia and Lily are 15 and 13 years old right now, and smack in the middle of puberty. They’re no longer girls, but young adults. During the course of their lives, they’ve known a much slimmer mom, and also a heavier mom (I’m currently at the top end of my weight range at about 100 kg/220 lbs), and they grew up knowing that mom sometimes eats differently than the rest of the family, as I’ve been on various diets like Weight Watchers, and also have celiac’s disease, which means I can’t eat gluten in any form.
They’ve always seen their mom eat with pleasure, though.
I love cooking, and a balanced, well-rounded diet is really important to me. No foods are off-limits at our house, but «unhealthy» stuff is served in moderation. Showing them by example that eating is something to be celebrated and enjoyed is always key, and I’m proud to say that there’s practically nothing they won’t eat – including vegetables, salad and (weirdly) even the freakiest seafood.
Nonetheless, I have all the regular mom-worries when it comes to my girls, and I know only too well that getting to know your own body (and coming to love it) has to be learned. That process doesn’t stop when puberty’s over. My daughters are currently growing into their bodies and I hope to god that they can do it in a healthy, happy way.
I never made a big fuss about eating in general. We have the most wonderful paediatrician who basically told me way back when they were toddlers and went through phases of eating very little that no child in Switzerland had ever starved to death. «They take what they need, and the parent decides what’s for dinner, then the child decides how much of it they want.» I know how hard it is when you’re constantly bombarded by images of perfect bodies, so I watch pretty closely (yet from the sidelines) to make sure they don’t suddenly develop any weird eating habits.
Therefore, there have been phases in their lives that they’ve been a bit slimmer, but also a bit chunkier… but because they’re still growing, it always tended to even itself out. Having said that, Lily was heavier than her big sister at the same age for a few years – but recently went through a sudden growth spurt which literally and quite visibly «stretched» her out. I’ll be the shrimp in our family, soon, eeek!
This is when the key moment occured for me, body-image wise: A few months ago, a friend of mine who hadn’t seen Lily in a while, exclaimed:
«Wow, you’ve really lost weight! Congratulations, you look great, sweetie!».
Without hesitation, I sharply reprimanded her (in front of both of our families), stating very clearly that I don’t want my children to be praised for their bodies… or scolded, for that matter. I was very brusque and direct, and being a peace-loving Libra, I apologized to my friend in private shortly thereafter and tried to explain where I was coming from.
I still feel the need to elaborate, because it’s a huge concern of mine that (my) children aren’t defined by whether they’re fat or thin or pretty or ugly.
«Beauty» may be my business, but beauty comes in so many forms that it’s absolutely impossible to define what the ideal even would be.
I want my daughters to find joy in their expressive eyes or their perfectly-shaped toes… but more than that, they should take pride in their empathetic manner, their ability to tell jokes or any of their other talents that they might still be discovering for themselves.
Of course Lily noticed that her physique has been changing – and I’m pretty sure she’s happy about it. I’m sure 15-year-old Mia also realizes that she’s quite lucky to have such long, lean legs by now. We regularly talk about bodies and beauty how expectations and ideals are constantly changing, and I truly believe that they both have a pretty «healthy» attitude towards themselves and their own looks… despite being smack in the middle of puberty, when a lot of things simply suck.
Nevertheless, I ask myself how my being fat will shape them. Do they see, by my example, that it honestly doesn’t matter what size you wear? Do they desperately hope that they never become as overweight as their mom? I don’t know for sure. But I really, really hope is the former, and not the latter*.
And now? Don’t get me wrong: I’m in no way propagating that you shouldn’t be talking about body(shapes).
I’ve lost a substantial amount of weight twice in my life, and both times, I was both very happy with my slimmer physique and when friends would compliment me on it. I was quick to explain that Weight Watchers worked like a charm and it didn’t bother me in the least and I GOT why strangers from my neighborhood stopped me on the street to ask my how I lost so much weight. I was proud of my achievement, because losing weight is fucking hard work.
I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t want to weigh 70kgs (150 lbs) again: I liked the way I looked and felt. But I also liked myself at 80kg and 90kg. I was still myself.
I look in the mirror, and can earnestly say: «Not bad, old girl!»
And yes, I’m vain. I don’t see my fat ass or my Pillsbury Dough-Boy upper arms. What I do see are the tiny lines around my eyes, or my weird flat hairdo or a new sweater that doesn’t fit properly. The things I dislike are all details that are subject to change every day, and are simply a matter of packaging. They’re not me.
Having said that, I’ve currently reached a point where I want (and need) to lose some weight for health reasons. I’m by no means telling people to be overweight – mostly because I’m currently discovering that the older I get, the less my body can compensate for the additional weight I carry around: My knees hurt and I’d like to be able to move painlessly again. I have plenty of reasons to lose some weight (stay tuned for POOR ME blog posts in the future!). I want to be healthy, not thin.
Which is why I’m proud of the fact that my daughters say things like «body shaming is soooo over!» and say that their generation doesn’t just see body positivity as a hashtag, but as a way of life. They understand that there are a hell of a lot of things that are more important than your physique:
That you feel strong. That you feel understood. That you can express yourself, that you can feel for people and that you can make yourself heard. And that you should always surround yourself with people who love those exact things about you.
Anyone who implies that everything would be much, much better if you were only a size 6 is wrong. I have the experience to know this for certain. And they can gladly be ignored.
Okay, this whole blog post is dangerously close to #blessedterritory (I’m not going to pretend I don’t joke about that blasted hashtag almost daily!). I obviously not only accepted the torch of sentimentality, but ran it waaaaay over the finish line.
SERMON OVER, HEAD ON HOME, DIARY’S FULL.
For now. But you know what? I originally wrote this feature for my German blog (which gets quite a bit more traffic than the English one), and both Mia and Lily read it, and we talked about it. The fact that they sent the link to this post to all their friends (and that it’s been clicked on nearly 6’000 times in three days) shows me that maybe this needed to be said. AGAIN. AND AGAIN.
I’m not going to quote Christina Aguilera, but we all really are freaking beautiful!
Tomorrow, I’ll be back in my trusted territory of beauty news and perfume reviews, I promise. But thank you for taking the time to read this… and if you’re so inclined, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment, okay?
Much (self-)love and have wonderful week, you pretty thing!
Because I’m also conceited enough to think I have what it takes to be a plus size model: Sweatshirt and hat by H&M, pants by C&A, coat by COS, sneakers by Adidas, bag by Louis Vuitton, attitude by Steffi.
Since it’s already February and winter hasn’t released its grip on us here in Switzerland, I thought this would be a good time to talk about skincare – and how to improve your routine. I hereby declare 2018 as the year of skincare!
So let’s start with the most important step: cleansing. I’m very passionate about this subject and I never get tired of telling everyone how very important it is to wash your face correctly.
As you can see, I’m VERY SERIOUS!
We all know that you really can’t skip removing your make-up in the evening. SO DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING TO BED WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON. But it’s not just about make-up, it’s just as important that your skin is truly clean. Because there’s no use in putting expensive serums and creams on your face if your skin can’t drink them up properly!
I’m going to lead by example and quickly show you my cleansing routine:
In the mornings, I use a non-drying cleansing gel (say no to sulfates!) and in the evenings, I double cleanse.
What is Double Cleansing? I’m glad you asked!
Double Cleansing means cleansing your face in two steps. This is especially important if you wear make-up and/or SPF on the reg. Which you should do, of course (the SPF part!).
In practice, this looks something like this:
The first cleanse is generally done with the cheaper product. This could be oil, milk or even micellar water. Once the make-up is removed, you can switch to your higher quality products – a balm for example. The second cleanse is also the time to massage your face. If you take your time to do this, you won’t need to invest in a Clarisonic.
All the purists who don’t wear make-up can skip the first step and go directly to massage the face with a good cleanser. If you’re wearing sunscreen, I would still do a double cleanse.
On another note, I would highly recommend using a washcloth for your cleansing routine – you will get better results and it just feels great!
Just don’t forget to exchange your washcloth daily.
Oh and just saying: wipes are a not acceptable!
Concerning skincare and especially cleansing, there’s no better blogger than Caroline Hirons. The UK-based beauty pro has excellent know-how, is super honest and – to top it all off – is also incredibly funny. I discovered double cleansing thanks to her and I wouldn’t want to do without it: My skin has visibly improved and I really enjoy my skincare ritual in the evening.
Caroline also has a Youtube channel, which I can highly recommend. So let’s have a look at her demonstrating her two minute double cleanse:
…and now, let’s have a look at some products:
In the mornings, we want to do a simple cleanse with either a gel, an oil/balm or a milk.
A true classic which gently cleanses with almond- and jojoba oil. And, of course, it’s organic!
Evening Cleanse / Double Cleanse
Since I wear both make-up and sunscreen almost every day, an evening double cleanse is a must for me. Most of the time I use an oil first, and then proceed to a balm. Greasy textures are most efficient in removing everything, and by removing the products with a washcloth, you really get everything off and are never left with greasy residue (if that’s what you’re afraid of)!
Products for the first cleanse can be simple and cheap. These are my favourites:
This cleansing balm by The Body Shop is definitely not enough talked about: inexpensive and potent!
By the way, I never use an eye make-up remover, I remove everything with the same product. If you can’t do that (because you wear waterproof mascara, for instance), removing your eye make-up would fall into the first category of cleansing.
Moving forward to the second step: now it’s the time to whip out your expensive, good quality cleansers. This is also the time to massage your face (and enjoy it!). I can highly recommend:
With camellia and rose, this cleanser nourishes and calms the skin. A very good product that I keep buying!
That was quite a lot to take in, wasn’t it? But I hope you’ve learned something new about cleansing and keep on taking care of your skin. A last tip for double cleansing-beginners: Keep your eyes peeled for cotton flannels (washcloths, for you Americans) on sale!
Investing in ten or so is totally worth it, as you can use a fresh one every night, which guarantees an even cleaner experience… AND you feel like you live at a spa!
I’m sure you will love it just as much as I do.
Have a great week and don’t forget to treat yourself (and cleanse!)!
*This post contains one or more affiliate links, which means that if you like the product and purchase it through one of my affiliates, I will receive a small percentage of the sales price. More on affiliates in the «about me» section!
Welcome back, gorgeous girl! I’m so glad you made it here today… in Zurich, it’s snowing like crazy and everyone’s late to work (or anything, for that matter). But we have plans to paint the town red… or rather, soft pink? Let’s ignore the snow and slush outside for a minute and have a look at Dior’s spring collection!
Don’t look so shocked, Bella Hadid: You are the face of the new campaign, after all!
Dior’s Spring Look is called «Glow Addict» and it’s basically been created around the newly-extended Glow Addict lip balm range… but of course, there are a few other pretty highlights, all aiming to give you a luxurious glow.
The tinted lip balm is a tried-and-true backstage favorite. Peter Philips, Creative and Image Director at Dior Make-Up loves the moisturizing benefits as well as the color-awakening technology behind it, which gives you a fresh color that suits your natural lips.
The Dior Lip Glow is available in nine colors – above you can see the six new shades (which are glossy) – and two new finishes:Matte Glow and Holo Glow.
Matte Glow is a matte, but very lightweight lip balm with mango butter and cranberry oil, which slightly tints the lips pink, but stays transparent matte. It’s availalble in two different shades: Matte Pink (on the right side, a soft variation of Iconic Pink) and Matte Raspberry, a vibrant pink.
Holo Glow gives an iridescent effect with satin finish.
The Dior Addict Lip Glows are really comfortable to wear and easy to apply, even without a mirror. I really love them, even the new matte finish!
Here is a short clip, which shows the «Let’s Glow Girls!» campaign with Bella Hadid and her beautiful model squad (which seems to be the new word for every gathering of women anywhere… are YOU and ME a squad now, too?)
In Dior’s spring look, the eyes are also going to be rosy pink:
The «holographic» hype is definitely a big thing in beauty right now. Although technically not really holographic (therefore not reflecting all the colors of the rainbow), this powder gives a beautiful highlighting effect.
The Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer is available in two shades, Holo Pink and Holo Gold. Both give a soft glow, which is visible but not over the top, if you know what I mean.
In the US, Dior’s Spring Look contains more products such as new Rouge Dior and Rouge Dior Liquid Lip colors, a brow mascara, lip liners and nail polishes, but for those of us in Europe, these babies will do quite nicely, too.
And that’s it for today! Hope you get off to a great start to the new week!
Welcome back, you pretty thing! I’m hoping you’ve gotten off to a great start in this spanking, shiny new year, and that 2018 has (so far) been good to you. Or, at least, not a bastard! Weirdly, I’m still in a bit of a holiday mood and have been taking it pretty easy so far… but hey, January is young yet, and I’m still getting organized with blog planning, setting up press trips and planning our family’s holidays!
The best part of the holiday season for me (besides eggnog and the likes) was that I finally had the time and energy to test some of the new products that had been piling up in my office. And one of them turned out to be a pretty fab foundation that I should have reviewed months ago, right when it was released here in Switzerland.
So without further ado, let’s get straight to one of the best liquid foundations I’ve tried in quite a while!
This light, almost watery foundation was released last fall, and boy, I nearly missed out on a biggie!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
This velvety liquid foundation is very easy to measure out, thanks to the dropper. Two to three drops will give you very light coverage, four to five average coverage and… HEY, GO CRAZY, six to ten drops will give you full coverage.
As with all foundations, the way you apply it is pretty much key to what it will look and feel like on your skin.
Using your fingers (as I usually do, because I’m impatient) creates a natural finish and allows you to use the foundation exactly where needed. A damp make-up sponge will give you pretty much the same level of coverage, but better spreadability.
If you’re more into high coverage, you can either use a foundation brush, or a nearly-dry make-up sponge. I find that a brush gives me the most control, but also creates a pretty «finished» look, if you know what I mean!
What I really like about the Total Control Drop Foundation is that it really is buildable.
I tried applying up to three layers of it, blending each one out, and it works like a charm and never rolls or starts to get blotchy.
Even then, the finish and feel is surprisingly light and not to slippy (some foundations have a lot of silicones in them), and this formula is supposed to work on every skin type. My combination skin really likes it, in any case!
Here are some more application tips and side-by-side comparisons of the level of coverage you can achieve with it…
Another user tip here:
If you’re not that into foundation in general, you can just add 1-2 drops into your moisturizer for a super-sheer look!
THE HEY PRETTY CONCLUSION:
What makes the Total Control Drop Foundation different is the huge range of shades: 24 different colors are a really big deal for a drugstore foundation… and here, you’re pretty much catering to the lightest of skins (their lightest shade is seriously porcelain!) to the darkest skin tones. Very inclusive and pretty fabulous!
Props, too, for the new Total Control Foundation Brush (approx. US$25) – a specially-designed brush that was released with the foundation itself, and makes the «drop by drop» application a lot easier. The angled brush can reach even the tiniest crevices on the sides of the nose and is fab for working the foundation into the skin, using circular motions.
I’m not gonna lie, I am a bit late to the party with this foundation, but maybe that just adds to my excitement now… you know, that old «I nearly missed out» kick? The NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation is actually pretty similar to The Serum Foundation by The Ordinary, but I honestly have to say that I prefer this one in terms of how it feels on the skin after a few hours, and also because this one’s easier to dose.
So if finally finding a good liquid foundation is one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, this here may just something to tick right off the list:
I really think a whole lot of people will like this!
And hey, it’s only January 11th. YAY, we’re totally ahead of schedule!
Have a great weekend and check back here soon, ya’ hear?
The NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation is available in 24 shades at approx. US$20 each (in Switzerland, you can find it at Manor).
*The products reviewed in this post were sent to me free of charge by the brand or its PR agency.
Happy New Year, dear blog readers! I hope you’ve had a wonderful and relaxing time over the holidays! And I hope you weren’t affected by the storm that hit us a few days ago… but hey, that’s kind of to be expected in the middle of winter, right?
I always launch straight into a cleaning and organizing frenzy in January, and I know I’m not alone! To start the new year off the right way, I’ve been trawling the world wide web until my fingers hurt… just to find the prettiest calendars to download and print!
The magic words «free printable» mean you can download each of these calendars as a PDF file… and then print it out at home, or take the file to your local copy shop and have it printed on fancy paper (as I tend to do).
So warm up your printers and go!
Let’s start with some flowers for 2018, shall we?
Beautiful Floral Calendar 2018 by A Piece of Rainbow
You can download this beautifully illustrated calendar here, yay!
This one is for all minimalists or those who would rather draw and decorate their wall calendar:
Freebie Calender 2018 by paulsvera
Download here (and have a look at the beautiful blog, written in German!)
If you don’t need much space to write, but you like dainty floral designs:
Free Printable Floral Calendar by This Little Street