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A Alfama da Lisboa Bairrista

Being from Portugal and having lived in Lisbon for the past three years it feels only right that I don't treat this as any other city guide. I am going to write about the city I chose to call mine in a very special and different way. I am going to talk about Lisbon as the city full of history and full of stories that it is. My goal is not only to show you how beautiful the city is but to tell you how much there is to know.
 Please keep in mind I am not from Lisbon and in a way, I am a tourist like anyone who is just visiting, so I may commit mistakes and I don't know as much as a TukTuk driver or a city guide, but I am going to do my best to share with you a bit of the history of the city. 

While I write this post I play Amália Rodrigues in the background. I couldn't do it in any other way, I grew up listening to fado and Alfama is the place where it was born and where it thrives here in Lisbon.  
I could talk about specific places like the Igreja de Santo Estevão, the Portas do Sol Viewpoint or the Feira da Ladra, but Alfama is much more than that.
Alfama is like a getting inside a child storybook, filled with colours and stories to find out, music and typical characters. Alfama is considered by many the heart of Lisbon, and maybe that's because it's easy to get lost between the narrow streets and alleys that are part of the neighbourhood, everything looks unique, yet the same, it's cohesive, typical and it has a proper soul. You won't see in Alfama what you see around other neighbourhoods in Lisbon, and that is what makes it so special.

There are multiple Casas de Fado, little restaurants where you can try some great Portuguese food and listen to fadistas (singers of Fado) play live. I've been to one once and it was a truly amazing experience, the respect for the music, mixed with the food, the wine and the very feel of the Lisboa Bairrista that many travel the world to see works perfectly. It's an experience that I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about fado and the Portuguese tradition as a whole.

You will see in Alfama that there are clothes drying outside the houses in the clotheslines, something that only contributes by adding colour to the pallet, flower pots, and old ladies selling ginginha d'Óbidos. You will sell the barbeques were you will find sardinha assada, chouriça assada  and many other Portuguese dishes. You will listen to the fado that comes out of the stores, Casas de fado, and from the street itself, either from a CD or from a singer, always joined by the beautiful sound of the Portuguese guitar. 

Alfama is a neighbourhood located between Graça (another typical neighbourhood of Lisbon) and Praça do Comércio, you can get there by taking the tube to Santa Apolónia and just climbing up the hill, but if you get off at the Terreiro do Paço tube station you are a 10 minute walk away, you will pass by Museu do Fado (I know you must be done with fado by now). You can also visit the Panteão Nacional where are buried a few of the most distinguished Portuguese personalities, such as Amália Rodriges, Eusério, Almeida Garrett, Sophia de Mello Breyner and a few others, from politicians to writers, and other important cultural figures that spread the Portuguese culture around the world. 

This is for sure a place that must be part of your travel plans, regardless of how long you are visiting for. Whenever I used to picture Lisbon when I was a kid Alfama was always on my thoughts, either because of Fado, Santos Populares or simply because it's such an iconic place. It's one of those places that truly make me feel like I am experiencing something unique that I wouldn't be able to see anywhere else in the world.
I hope I inspired you not only to visit this neighbourhood but also to learn a bit more about it, to look at it with other eyes rather than simply looking at it's instagramable colours. To look at it with the sad eyes of fado, the promising eyes we looked at the sea, look for history and for stories, for songs and for pregões. Try to understand the city while visiting it, instead of simply looking at it as an outsider. 

Location: Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

The Colour Pop Edit: Makeup Review

Colour Pop is one of those brands I've always wanted to try, but always restrained myself from buying, maybe because it's only available online or because anything we get from outside the European Union, here in Portugal, gets stuck in costumes and we have to pay almost the same as we paid for the products in fees. When they did a Free WorldWide Shipping for Black Friday I didn't think twice and I got a few items. Recently when a similar deal was available on their website I got a few more, and I can't wait for Free Shipping to be a deal again so that I can get more and more. 
I'm now going to do a rundown of all the products I own from the brand, with my honest thoughts an opinions. 

The Lippie Stix (5.50$) :

Most people would save the best for last, on the contrary, I decided to start with my favourite product from the bunch. I'm talking about the Lippie Stix, a lipstick that looks almost like a pen, the elongated packaged combined with the thin bullet allows the application to precise without needing to use a lip pencil first. At the same time, they have an ultra-matte finish making them very comfortable to wear while still being long-lasting (they last all day in the lips, expect if I have an especially messy meal, like a burger or something). I risk saying that this is the best formula on lipstick I have ever tried. 

As of right now (and I will for sure get more) I own three shades of the Lippie Stix:

Ziggie (a terracotta orange shade), Girl Gang (A nude with a mauve undertone) and Can't Wait (a brownie nude with a very very slight pink undertone).

The Crème Lux Lipstick (7$) 

The other lipstick Colour Pop has available on their website is the Crème Lux Lipstick, a classic bullet lipstick with a very sturdy rose gold metal package. The package is decorated with little stars all over and so is the bullet of the lipstick itself. This alone is enough reason to buy the product, once it's going to look super cute on anyone's makeup bag. It shows, at the same time, the amount of thought the brand puts into their products. 
They have various finishes available but I decided to go for a creamy finish. The fact that this formula is a lot creamier than the Lippie Stix also makes the product last less time on the lips (I would say around 4 hours without the need to touch up) but it also makes it very hydrating and comfortable on the lips. 

The shade I picked was Pinkies Up (a nude shade with a slight mauve pink undertone). As you can see for the swatches the lip colours I picked are almost identical something that wouldn't happen if I could swatch the products beforehand, but also something that doesn't upset me once it's the type of shade I lean towards on daily basses. 

Pressed Powder Shadow Pallet in I think I love you (16$) :

Deciding which pallet to get was a very serious, yet complicated task. I wanted them all (and at their low prices it was hard not to get all of them) but I ended up deciding on this beauty, the I Think I Love You because it was a neutral pallet with a twist (yes I am talking about that beautiful bright gold yellow shade).
 I knew I was going to wear all of the shadows and that I could create many looks only with it so it would be perfect for my constant state of being in Lisbon and in the Algarve, living of a makeup bag. 
The package is compact and made of cardboard which makes it not very resistant, and the fact that it doesn't have a mirror is a problem for me as well, especially because it's a great travel pallet, and it's when travelling that we need the mirrors that come on pallets the most. I do, however, understand why those aspects are missing in the pallet, especially when you are paying so little for amazing quality shadows. 
The shadows are all very pigmented, but the shimmers have a lot of fallout but are extremely pigmented. 
I am truly happy with this pallet and it has been one of my most used ones since I got it back in November. 
I think if you want to buy a new eyeshadow pallet you should give Colour Pop a test because you will most likely love it, they are budget-friendly and a quality that can be compared with brands such as Urban Decay or Too Faced. 

The Super Shock Shadows (5$) 

Around 5 years ago I got my first MAC product, it was a limited edition single eyeshadow, one of the MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadows, a limited edition product that I got in Paris, never found in Portugal and that I fell in love with. At the time I didn't have a lot of makeup skills and so the wet to powder texture that I applied using only my fingers was quick and always looked amazing. Never have I found anything like it in any other brand, until the day this product arrived! 
The Super Shock Shadows are exactly that, a cream to powder wet looking eyeshadow that looks absolutely gorgeous on the eyes. 
Since I got them they became part of my everyday routine, either to accentuate or give a shiny touch to a matte look or on their own as my complete I makeup, it takes me 2 minutes to do my complete eyeshadow routine with them and I am obsessed! 

The shades I got were ZZZ (a copper red with some pinkie notes and a metallic finish) and A Little Quarky (a cool toned golden shade with blue and purple undertones and a glitter finish). I love both shades and I think they look really good on my skin tone. This is the type of product I would recommend to anyone who is either starting exploring the eyeshadow world or that doesn't have much time in the morning, yet wants to use something on the lids in order to look very put together. 

The Super Shock Blush (8$) :

The item I was more on defence about getting was one of the Super Shock Blushes. I had read reviews and a couple of friends had told me that they worked best when applied with a duo-fiber brush or a beauty blender, and that scared me a bit. The idea of applying blush with a beauty blender made me feel like I would have zero control when applying the product, but boy was I mistaken. The fact that I am applying the product with a beauty blender (the best way to apply it, in my opinion) it makes the product look very natural when on the skin but it also allows me to build the colour up in order to have it look a lot more intense. I haven't worn any other blush since I got it (and its only 20% because I was testing it, the other 80% is simply because I love it).
The shade I got was Holiday (a beautiful peachy pink colour). I think that this is the perfect blush for summertime makeup in which I tend to go for more creamy products but I still want them to last a long time on the skin. 

I am truly in love with this brand and I can't wait to get my hands on more products!
If you have tried Colour Pop in the past please let me know what are your must-have products so that I know what to get next time I place an order!

5 Products I've Fallen in Love with in February

I've decided that I am going to try and talk about the products I've been loving always in groups of 5. This will allow me to be both more selective with what I am showing you and it's something that ultimately is more on brand with the goal I'm aiming towards in general. 
Today, and even though its a bit late, I am going to share with you the 5 products I've loved the most in February. This is something that I'm going to try and do every other month and it's going to include both beauty and lifestyle bits. 

The Humble Brush (The Humble Co - 3.99€): This might seem random but if you've read my new year's resolutions post you would know that a more sustainable lifestyle is one of my goals for 2019. The first change I made was changing for a Bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one. This is one of the easiest changes to make. At first, it was a bit weird to brush my teeth with a bamboo brush instead of plastic, it felt a bit too big for my mouth and the material felt a bit like a stick, but after the first couple of uses I can say it feels now strange to use the "normal" plastic one (I still have a plastic toothbrush at my boyfriends house). It's something cheap and easy to change and won't affect your daily habits what so ever if you wanna live a more eco-friendly lifestyle this might be a good first step.

Earrings (Parfois, 1.99€): I got my ears pierced for the first time in January and now I am finally able to change my earrings, which is honestly so exciting. Never having my ears pierced before I never understood why it was such a big thing, but now I feel (and look) so much more put together regardless of what I am actually wearing, how my hair looks or how my makeup looks. These little hoops were the first pair of earrings I bought myself and it was such an exciting purchase to make. But really, if for some reason you don't have your ears pierced and you want to do it, just do it! Icompletelyatly painless and it really boosted my self-confidence!

Conceal & Define Liquid Concealer (Makeup Revolution - 4.99€):  My NARS concealer was worn to death on my Minimal Makeup Challange and I couldn't afford to replace it at the moment (broke university student here!), so when I stumbled upon this product I had to give it a go! I won't talk much about the product because I will have another post coming soon in which I will go into more detail but this is a great hight coverage concealer with one of the best shade ranges I've ever seen. I've used this product almost daily since I got it and it's for sure one of the best liquid concealer formulas I've ever tried. I know this is a product that I will always have in my makeup collection. 

Hoola Bronzer (Benefit - 37.95€): What a cult product this is. I've got one of those wonderful kits Benefit does for Christmas last year and this gem was part of it. I've been using it ever since for either contour or simply as a bronzer if I'm feeling a matte bronzer. I love the product. The colour is a perfect match for my skin tone and the formula is amazing, the pigmentation is the right amount so that you don't need a ton of product but you also have a lot of control over what you are doing while using it. After trying it I must say that there actually is a reason why this is such a cult product in the beauty community.

Born to Run Eyeshadow Pallet (Urban Decay - 54.90€): Even writing the price down after months of owning this pallet makes my bank account cry, but oh well, there are some things that simply are worth it and this is one of them. I own multiple eyeshadow pallets and I must say that this one is by far my all time favourite one. The quality of the shadows is as amazing as Urban Decay always delivers and the colours picked for this one just tickle every box. This is the pallet I would 100% recommend to anyone who is starting with eyeshadow and is willing to spend a bit more. It has some cool tones and some warm ones, some blues, pinks oranges and purples but still a lot of nude eyeshadows, perfect for anyone starting to get creative and exploring more with makeup.
If you still have doubts on how much I love it, well let's put it this way: If my whole makeup collection got stolen (God forbid) this would probably be one of the first products I would repurchase!

Before I sign off I just want to say that I truly am happy with the way the photos turned out. If you know me you would know that I was very self-conscious about my photography skill and about having blog posts without my face on them and this year I knew that in order to have good quality content I would have to try and improve. There is no magic formula, instead a lot of trial and error, but I truly feel like I'm evolving and that my content creating is really benefiting from it. 

Have you tried any of these products? Which one caught more of your attention?

March Goals, Objectives and Where I'm at in Life

When compared to January, February was pretty slow here on the blog, however, I blame that on the fact that was the exact opposite when it comes to my personal life. I'm full force back in university and dealing with midterms already (as I sit in my kitchen writing the post I'm ignoring the huge amount of papers I must read for my exam tomorrow). Life has been good. I've been able to keep up with my Instagram game and I am really proud about it.
I've been doing really well regarding my mental health and my physical health as well. However, I believe I could do better and it's something I am planning on improving.
For now, I wanna focus on my new year resolutions and making sure that they are not forgotten, I have made them for a reason and I intend to keep them going for the whole 12 months!

I haven't been reading anything, but that is because I am a bit out of love with the books that I have to read, I've realized that to keep my goal going I will need to buy a few new books. The good news is, there are so many cool books that I want to add to my shelves that this will for sure be an easy thing to do. 
Blogging wise I am really happy to where I'm at. Although I haven't been the most consistent here on the blog, Instagram is a whole other thing, I am really happy about that. I plan on having quite a few changes here on the blog. I can feel it March is gonna be my month.

I haven't been reading anything, but that is because I am a bit out of love with the books that I have to read, I've realized that to keep my goal going I will need to buy a few new books. The good news is, there are so many cool books that I want to add to my shelves that this will for sure be an easy thing to do. 
Blogging wise I am really happy to where I'm at. Although I haven't been the most consistent here on the blog, Instagram is a whole other thing, I am really happy about that. I plan on having quite a few changes here on the blog. I can feel it March is gonna be my month. 

In other news, I am truly more than ready for Spring. Done with the raincoats, sweaters and boots. I can't wait for T-shirts, blazers and shorts. There is something magical about the sunshine, the change in seasons and the way things change from our point of view with something that we have absolutely no control over, yet they have so much control over us. 
Brace yourselves, really good things are coming with really good weather. 

I would really like to know what kind of content you would be interested in reading here, in what video content you would like to see and all of that. 

So before this post is done I would like to share with you all a 3 of my goals for the month/things that I wanna focus my energy on.  

1- Redesigning my blog: This is something I've been wanting to do for the longest time, but was never made a priority. I plan to start working on it, this month. 

2 - Reading two book: If I really wanna have read 24 books by the end of the year, I really need to get on top of things, and even though this may not be the right time due to the amount of work I have to get done both for the blog and for university I feel like my brain really could use a break from all the technology and screens. Picking up a book instead of my phone it will be good for both my mental and physical health. 

3- Work on at least 3 travel related blog posts: Being that travelling more is one of my main goals of the year creating 3 travel blog posts will allow me to visit a few more places (this includes places in Lisbon as well). I have my head buzzing with ideas that I honestly can't wait to see come to live, and that I feel like all of you would much rather appreciate. 

Location: Lisbon, Portugal 

Minimal Makeup Challenge - What I've Learned and Why You Should Do It Too

The Begining

After watching Sarah Therese Minimal Makeup Challange Video I decided I wanted to try it for myself. The challenge consists of creating a curated version of our makeup bags, including only products we find to be absolutely indispensable. I grabbed my little Harry Potter makeup bag and got to picking.  I managed to create a full face of makeup using only eight products, nine if you count lip balm, no foundation, no blush, no eyeshadow or setting spray. It felt crazy. I felt pretty and yet I was wearing half of the makeup I normally used. 

The products that made it to my list were: 

- Oriflame The One Browcara
- Color Pop Lippie Sticks in Girl Gang // Can't Wait 
(I kept two lip colors to change things up a bit)

I also made a commitment to reduce the number of tools I used to create the full look and I managed to have only 4 tools with me
- Beauty Blender
- Very dense Powder Brush 
- Bronzer Brush 
- Highlighter Brush

The Process

I must confess that I was really afraid at first. In Sarah's video, she had picked 11 products, I was picking 9 and that was enough to make me scared. Questions pop into my head: Was I forgetting something? Would I survive for a month without any eyeshadow? (dramatic I know...) Should I have picked two lipsticks that are almost exactly the same shade? Why on earth was I doing this? 
Honestly to start was easy, I created the first minimal look almost by mistake, as I said above and then I just kept going from there. Repeating the same products and look over and over again and I must say it brought multiple advantages to the table. 

1- I was spending less time thinking about makeup, doing my makeup and worrying about makeup. I only had one product of each with made it very easy when picking what to use that day. I kept changing up the lip color I was wearing every other day even though they were very similar they made my makeup feel different enough. 

2- I was barefaced most of the time. It could be the fact that I had a bunch of classes at 8 AM or the fact that sometimes I just couldn't be bothered, but the fact is that I was not wearing makeup quite often, and I felt great!

3- Either the eight or nothing at all. If I went without the primmer the concealer wouldn't go as smoothly, if I went without the highlighter I would look very weird (the reason I picked a pinkier highlighter was so it would double as some sort of blush), and so one. So I was either doing all my steps or showing my makeup-free face to the world.

4- Two similar lip colors does make sense. I know, crazy! But let's face it, you probably wear almost the same shade every day anyway, the brand might change, the formula might change but the color is always around the same spectrum, apart from the occasional red or purple (in my case at least), so it is for sure a smart decision to have two similar colors as an option, they will change your look just enough while still making it look the same.

5- You truly have to be committed to the products you pick. This one is kinda obvious, but I felt like I had to say it. You are not picking a list like mascara, concealer, bronzer, etc. You are picking specific products so you have to know that they work together and that they help you achieve what you want. At the same time if there is a product in your collection that you want to use more of this would be a good occasion to do so.

At the end

And so this leads us to my final thoughts after a month using the same eight products repeatedly. 
Firstly, this felt like a project pan and it truly made me fall back in love with makeup, as you can see from the pictures the products are all almost dead, which is both good and bad. Good because I get to go makeup shopping, bad because my wallet is crying already. 
I am more excited about my other products as well, I want to play with eyeshadow more and more and I want to use blush (God, I've missed blush so much), and experiment with different lipsticks as well. 
I truly think everyone should do this challenge, especially us bloggers with a lot more products than what we need. It doesn't mean I don't love all my products or that I am throwing everything away, cause I am not, but it means I got to see things with other eyes, I got to try and experiment and I truly feel like my makeup purchases are going to be a lot more conscious  from now on. 
I love makeup, it's the reason why I started blogging in the first place and I love creating beauty content. However, it feels great to have decided on what my staple products are, what I actually need to have with me when I am traveling and what products I truly can't live without.