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Project Pan: Helping the Environment & My Wallet

Without realizing I started a little project pan when it comes to my beauty stash. I have way too many things and I feel super excited to get new ones to try. Around summertime, I made the decision to only buy a product when another one of the same categories was over. For example, I would only buy a new concealer or foundation when I ran out of the one I was currently using. 

This all started the moment I decided I wanted to share my empty products with my audience, in order to give them a more complete review of the products that were part of my stash and also to update you on the things I share both here and on Instagram. I decided to start collecting all the products I was using up in a bag and once I had 10 different products I would do a series of little reviews on Insta Stories. 
The response was absolutely amazing. I got DM's talking about how helpful and interesting this series was, how cool it was to see my opinion after using a full bottle of a product and how it made me much more reliable when it came to my reviews, you could see that I really did use things up and that I wasn't just buying them for the sake of showing them on the blog (something that I have been guilty of doing in the past).

Project Pan became a full-on mission. I wanted to empty as many products as I possibly could so that I had some cool stuff to share with you. I started wearing the same makeup products on a daily bases (lipstick included, shooking, I know), the same skincare and hair care products. I stopped buying beauty stuff because of a sale and I started being really conscious about the things I allowed into my life.

For example, I've been wanting to get a new concealer for a while, either the Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer (one I've used in the past and truly love) or the Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer (one that has been on my wishlist of the longest time), however, during the H&M beauty sale I got their Concealer Stick and now I am refusing to buy one I truly want until I finish the H&M one, (even though  I am really enjoying this one as well). I know I saved myself some great money while doing this because I don't buy makeup impulsively as often anymore. I still enjoy to get a few new things to try out once in a while, but I don't go crazy. I make a wishlist, if I have some extra cash I don't waste it in another lipstick that is a variation of a nude (like all the other ones I own) or in another eyeshadow pallet with which I will create a look and never use it again. 

Consequently, I became more and more aware of how wasteful the beauty industry actually is. I mean, look at your shower, if you have the most simple routine using only shampoo and shower gel you have two plastic bottles that you buy at least every two months. I personally, don't know anyone who uses only two products on their daily routines. I use shampoo, conditioner, a hair mask, shower gel, shaving cream, razors, toothbrush, toothpaste, body moisturizer, body scrub, face wash, face scrub, etc. If all those products come in a plastic container and I am buying some of them every two months, if not more often, the amount of plastic that it is going to waste is immense.

I am not saying I should reduce the number of steps I do, my routine is a form of self-care, it makes me feel relaxed and good about myself and I don't want to simplify it to the point it doesn't feel that way anymore. However, tracking my beauty trash in my empties really allowed me to see what products I go trough faster, which ones I buy the most and which ones I could find more sustainable alternatives too. I currently use a bar of soap instead of shower gel, a bar of shampoo instead of a bottle of shampoo and a bamboo toothbrush. These were the first changes I made, but there are a lot of things I still want to improve when it comes to my beauty waste, I want to have a routine that feels sustainable, that includes getting rid of plastic, buying less, making smarter choices, investing in bigger bottles of products, and so on. 

I am happy with the way I am dealing with my beauty waste, how I am decluttering my collection, how I am consuming less and using things up, even if are things that have been around the house untouched for months. It helped me shop my stash and falling in love with beauty again. Also, it made beauty shopping something way more enjoyable because now, I don't do it as often and on the occasions that I do I invest in things that I love with all my heart, things I have been meaning to get for months and that bring joy to me every time I wear them. 

Why Consumerism Makes Fast Fashion Dangerous

I recently bought to pairs of Levis and with that came a revision of my shopping habits. I stopped buying beauty on impulse a long time ago and it sure helped to improve my makeup collection. I only buy things after doing research, things I know I will like and I stopped snooping around for Drugstore Makeup all the damn time. However, with a shopping centre a 10 minutes drive away from my house it becomes hard to resist the urge of shopping fast fashion all the damn time.

 I like to be on-trend, like most people my age. I follow many influencers and I want to own the same clothes that they do because I love their style. Most times, and because I can't afford to buy from expensive brands, I turn to fast fashion like most of us do. Even though we all know the industry is terrible and that we all probably own too many clothes we feel the urge to buy, it's cheap and it's accessible. I am not writing this post to go on a quest against fast fashion, this post is about consumerism, the way we shop and my thoughts on where to invest.

I do buy from Primark, Zara, H&M and many other brands I am not baning them from my life, but I am, more than ever, being conscious about what I am buying. I only buy pieces that I know will suit my wardrobe. Pieces I know that fit my style and that fit into each other, that allows me to create different looks. This way I am not buying things for the sake of buying. It requires thought and ponderation. Most of the time if I like a piece I see on a store I go home and reflect about it, I ask myself Would it fit with what I already own? Does it suit my style? Does it suit me? If the answer to these questions is YES I go back to the store and I get it, if the answer is no, most often than not I forget about it. This way I am controlling the urge to shop and I am saving money.

I also never buy clothes without trying them on. Sometimes we like a piece on Instagram, or on someone else but I feel the need to trying things on myself to see if they look good, if the pieces are comfortable and if I feel good while wearing them. This is something I find crucial, most times when things are bought without being tried on first they end up in a rack at the end of the closet with the tags on, or they end up being returned. I don't like wasting my money or my time and for that reason, I never buy without trying an item on.

But, let's circle back into the Levis I got. I had made the decision quite a while ago that I wanted to start being more conscious about what I was buying. I have fast-fashion pieces that I've owned for 5 years or more and are still in perfect shape (maybe due to the way I treat them), but that was never the case with jeans. Jeans have always been a hard piece of clothing to buy. I am 1,78m (5'10 I guess), so automatically all the skinny jeans are short on me. Then I have an hourglass figure (even though I hate to label body types), but, in fact, my waist is quite small, especially when compared to my butt, which made the idea of not wearing a belt almost impossible.
And then I do realize how poorly made fast fashion jeans are. They rip easily, they stretch where you don't want them too and they lose colour with washing. For those reasons I almost stopped wearing jeans, at least I stopped buying them.

However we are talking about a piece that you can easily create looks around, a wardrobe essential. That was the reason why I decided to invest in two pairs that weren't from a Fast Fashion brand, pairs that I know will last me a lifetime if I take good care of them. Jeans that fit me perfectly everywhere, that won't show too much of my ankles or need a belt, jeans that just fit.
I did get them in an outlet, with outlet pricing, but we are talking about a piece that is meant to last you a lifetime, who cares if it's last seasons collection or not? Anyways, this might have been the first step I took into having a more conscious friendly closet, but every step counts. I truly believe that if you want to start a journey similar to mine you need to access what pieces do you own, the ones you wear the most and then pick pieces that make sens investing in. For me it was jeans, but it could be a leather jacket, a plain white tee or a pair of shoes. If you can't afford to buy for anything that isn't Fast Fashion just be more aware of what you are buying, and always aim for timeless pieces instead of trendy ones.

Location: Loulé, Algarve, Portugal
Photography: João Machado

The Autumnal Favorites

October marks the beginning of Autumn, the days are getting shorter, and colder, the leaves are falling and with that, a change in the beauty stash is needed. When the colder months come, I like to create heavier looks when compared to the summer, use warmer shades on my lids, bolder dark lipstick colours (something I am missing from the edit to be fair), less shine and more coverage and A LOT of bronzer to keep me from looking like the vampire pale shade I am about to become. 

I've made a few updates to the makeup bag and today I am going to share the 5 products I have been using the most lately.

Gloss Bomb in Diamond Milk (Fenty Beauty - 18.90€): Fenty Gloss Bombs were the products that introduced lipglosses back into my life. After years of being on the matte lips and nothing else trend it felt amazing when I got the Fenty Glow shade, it quickly became part of my everyday makeup and for the season I decided it was time to get my hands on their clear gloss version. Diamond Milk is a beautiful cool tone clear gloss. The formula is amazing, it doesn't stick and it's a very hydrating product. The perfect combination to add to a heavy eye makeup look, this product will give a lighter and fresher touch to your makeup.

 Velvet Matte Lipstick in 01 Donuts Go Nut (Essence - 2.89€): I sort of rediscovered Essence makeup this past few months. This is a more affordable brand that is all I used to use in middle school than I got a bit more money (or I started spending it smarter along the way) I started investing in more expensive makeup products and parted way with drugstore brands. This lipstick has been all I've been wearing, is the perfect nude tone for me, the formula is amazing, it lasts quite well on the lips and it is a matte formula without being super drying. I love wearing it on its own or with the Fenty Gloss Bomb on top.

Lash Princess Volume Mascara (Essence - 4.19€): Keeping it on the Essence rail I had heard everyone and their mother talk about this mascara, but being that I hadn't really loved mascaras from Essence in the past it took me years to give it a try. This is probably the best affordable mascara I have ever tried. It has been my go-to and it will keep its status. It gives me full voluminous lashes without making them glue together. I truly feel like a doll when I use this mascara and for the bold eyeshadow looks I like to do in the fall time, this is the perfect addition. 

Modern Renaissance Pallet (Anastacia Beverly Hills - 55€): I have heard amazing things about ABH shadows since their firs pallet came along. This was number one at my wishlist since it came out in 2017 (if I am not mistaken). Autumn is the perfect season to wear the browns, reds, pinks on the eyes, winey warm tones, the shades of the leaves that are falling on the outside. I have been obsessed with this pallet and I truly think this is the perfect addition to any makeup bag for the season. It is also very versatile because it has many neutral and nude shades that make the purchase worth it even if you don't own many eyeshadow pallets. 

Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea (Mario Badescu - 9.90€): Once my Lavender spray was over I was converted to Mario Badescu Products. For the winter months, and because I have been dealing with breakouts a lot more, I decided to get the Green Tea one. So far I love it. This product is truly an amazing addition at an affordable price. It works as skincare, as a refresher and as a setting spray. A versatile product that really is an essential to me, and I am truly glad that the brand is now available in Portugal.

These are the products I picked for my Autumnal beauty edit, the products I've gotten recently and that quickly made it to the favorites! I truly recommend them and I am quite happy with the selection that I have presented you with. I think it's good to recommend both higher hand and hight street products in these edits too so that more people can try the recommendations I am giving! 

Be Afraid, Do It Anyways

For someone who doesn't write hair related blog posts, this is the second time that I am doing so in a short period of time, but with good reason. 
For many years now I wanted to change my hair, I did cut it pretty drastically one year ago, and once when I was like 16 I died my ends red, but that was about it when it came to drastic changes from me. I was always afraid of not liking the result, and truth to be told I love my natural blond honey hair colour. 
When I chopped it off last year the main motivation was the fact that it was super damaged after a summer spent in the sun, diving in the ocean and in swimming pools and with lack of hair care (the usual). 

This year, however, I decided that it was time for a change. I wanted to do something different from what I had done before. Once I had done a fringe last year, and I had loved it, I wanted to do that once again, yet I wanted to keep my hair long, that's exactly what I did when it came to the cut, something very me, very similar to what I had done in the past that yet felt like a little change. 
However, the back of my mind kept telling me that I should do something more, something that would change my look a lot more than a hair cut. I've been wanting to go blonder for years now and I never got the balls to do it. I was afraid because last time I had bleached my hair, it had completely ruined it, it was super damaged for years. Now that my hair was feeling as healthy as it possibly could I was afraid to ruining it, yet again.

I was also afraid that the colour wouldn't look good on me. It's a chance we have to take whenever we are messing with something that relates to our appearance, literally the fear of fucking it up. Our face is our business card to the world, and no one wants to be seen by others in a way that doesn't make them feel comfortable. So, for me, this decision wasn't easy. It took a lot of thinking, a lot of images saved on Instagram and a lot of Pins made on Pinterest to be sure this is something that I could do. 

It sounds silly, so much drama, just because of hair. Truth to be told, I never truly loved my hair 100%, even though I love its natural colour, I was never fond of its texture, how dry it was, how oily it would easily get, the lack of volume, you name it. This is a feeling I always have had growing up, until last year I chopped it all of and my confidence was found, for the first time I fell in love with my hair. I enjoyed doing hair masks, trying different hairstyles, I loved my hair. Doing something that I had never done before to it when I was the most confident I had ever been, was a terrifying thought.

I WAS AFRAID, BUT I DID IT ANYWAYS. Because in life I truly believe that we should face our fears, especially when the other option is to stay at the same place where we are right now, living life, always wondering, what if... What if I had done it? What if I wasn't afraid? Where could I be in life right now, if I had taken the chances... You guessed it, this isn't just about my hair. This is my take on life. This is my perspective, the way I try to live my life. Do the things that put me out of my comfort zone, and sometimes I will fail and feel miserable about it, other times, well, other times it will be just like my hair. It will look amazing. It will boost my confidence and make me feel like a brand new person. It will give me the chance to start with a clean slate, to be bolder, to reinvent myself. And even if those times represent 1% of the total outcomes, I say, they are still 100% worth the try. 

Location: Loulé, Algarve, Portugal 
Photography: Mariana Rocha

My Top 5 Makeup Brushes

I've been procrastinating washing my makeup brushes the whole Summer (shame on me) but with my return to Lisbon eminent, I had to get my shit together and give my makeup brushes a good bath. It got me thinking about how many brushes I owned and if I was to lose all of them which ones would I repurchase first, which were my essentials and why I loved them! That is where the idea for this post was born, I decided to share with you the makeup brushes that I find essential to create almost any makeup look, from face to eyes. 
Let's face it, the tools that we use to apply our makeup are as important (or even more) than the makeup we use. I truly believe that we should invest in good quality tools, they can literally last a life timed if you take good care of them, however, I don't think we need to buy the most expensive option on the market, nowadays there are many drugstore brands that have great quality brushes at an affordable price, there are literally no excuses to own bad quality tools because that only means that you won't be able to take full advantage of the products that you already own. 

Zoeva 106 Powder Brush: I've owned my Zoeva Brushes for 5 years, most of them are still in amazing shape and I wear them on the daily to create my makeup looks. Their Powder Brush is absolutely amazing, it is light and it doesn't pack powder on your skin, preventing the cakey look that most times is associated with the use of powder. I also like to use this brush at the end of my makeup if I applied a bit too much bronzer or blusher to blend everything together and give my makeup a much more natural look.

Real Techniques Blush Brush: Real Techniques started selling in physical stores in Portugal this year, and even though I had tried their brushes in the past I didn't own many and I used a 25% off promotion to get a couple more. One of them was their blush brush, I wasn't 100% convinced by its shape, it was so different from all the angle blush brushes that I already owned and I really didn't know if the shape would work for me but I tried it and I am in love. This brush is an all in one product, I can use it to apply bronzer, blush or even powder. If I lost all my brushes this one would be one to get ASAP due to its diversity. Also, I've had some Real Techniques Brushes that I've owned for more than 6 years and that still are in really great shape. 

Real Techniques Setting Brush: This is the other brush that I've got this year that made it to the favourites. I had only used fan brushes to apply my highlighter before this one came along, now I don't care for fan brushes anymore. This is the best brush out there when it comes to highlighter! Another cool thing about this brush is that you can also use it to bake under your eyes with some loose powder or to do little powder touch-ups. 

Zoeva 227 Soft Definer vegan: When it comes to the most essential eye makeup brush in my collection this one is it. I think that a good crease brush is the number one essential when it comes to eye makeup brushes. the other things eyeshadow wise you can normally due using your fingers, but to smoke a look or to blend everything together a crease brush is essential. For that reason, I own multiple crease brushes but this Zoeva one is for sure my number one favourite. 

Zoeva 226 Smudger: Experimenting with my lower lash line was one of the last things I started doing when I learned makeup because it was daunting, I felt like I could literally ruin my look just by adding colour to the lower lashes. Nowadays, it has become essential when it comes to creating eyeshadow looks, I feel like it frames my eyes and it makes everything look a lot more cohesive when it comes to the full face of makeup. What helped me learn how to do this was the Zoeva Smudger Brush, it is a really dense brush that makes the lower lash detailed application really easy. I really love this brush and I would recommend this one to anyone who is wanting to experience more with eyeshadow and bring your looks to the next level.

And these are the 5 brushes I find to be the most essential, I didn't include a foundation brush because my favourite form of application is for sure a Beauty Sponge. For me, a Beauty Sponge is the number one essential when it comes to makeup tools, but that is a post for another day. I can assure you that the brushes I recommended here are great quality, very versatile and affordable, for me, they check all the boxes and totally help my makeup looks to look a lot better and more professional.