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How I Plan Planning 2019 : My Bullet Journal

I'm starting to feel like a pro at the art of Bullet Journaling. I've been keeping a BuJo since I was in 11th grade and it has become more and more my creative outlet. I love the method because it allows me to be as creative as I want to, without the added pressure of failing or doing it wrong,  because there are no rules. Deep down, and if you want to be part of the Bullet Journal community you need nothing more than a pen and a notebook, by following the method you will be creating your own planner, something that is 100% adapted to your needs. If 2019 is the year you are starting to Bullet Journal I would recommend you to find any notebook you already own and try the method first, no need for fancy pens or fancy notebooks. I only committed to a Leuchtturm or a Moleskin after 3 years of using the method. 
In my opinion and with the crazy amount of content that it is available online on the topic I think it's important to leave a few reminders, especially, if you have been wanting to try it but you feel like you can't because you are not artsy enough. 

I suck at drawing, however, and because this is my main creative outlet in a physical form, I like to try a few header designs and a few different caligraphies when writing quotes and things like that, however, this is not needed. You can keep your spreads as simply as you want them, I personally think that the simplicity of some pages is what makes minimal Bullet Journals so pleasing to look at. 
2019, however, will bring a bit of a change when it comes to how I plan. I decided that this year I wanted to use my iPhone a bit more as a planner and for that, I am using nothing more than the calendar app on it. I've started creating time blocks so that I can have a full view of what my day looks likes since I wake up until I go to bed, this will help me keep on track of stuff when I am on the go and can't take my Bullet Journal with me. I've color coordinated everything with pastel colors so that it looks organized and at the same time it matches my Stabilo Boss Pastel Highlighters that I use in the kye of my Bullet Journal, this is how both my digital and my physical planning methods come together. 
Another helpful thing I've started doing was to always braindump everything into my notes app, this way when I am planning a month I already know what blog posts I want to create or what movies I want to go to the cinema and watch. This way I can always be organized and I am not 100% dependent on either method. 

Since December that I've been planning more and more following this coordination of digital and physical forms, and I have been truly loving it. After so many years of having a BuJo as my only planning form, this feels revigorating and it made me excited again to use the notebook as my planing method. 
Right now my main supplies are a Leuchtturm 1917 grey notebook (I parted ways with the official BuJo notebook because I fancied a different color and the main advantage in the original one for me was that the pages were numbered, which also are in this one). And I use a regular bullet point black pen from Bic. I also use the Stabilo Boss Pastel Highlighters and a ruler (which is more often than not replaced by a card) and nothing else, I keep it simple and that is the way it works best for me. However, this method is so personal that a very high maintenance super fancy BuJo might be what works for you.
Don't forget to read Ryder Carroll website in which he explains every step of the method he created. I will be reading his new book on it this year as well!
If you want to check my 2018 and my 2017 Bullet Journals feel free to go back and visit those posts!

Alex Steinherr x Primark: Luxury Quality at Affordable Prices?

What happens when a well-known beauty editor joins forces with an affordable retailer in order to create a line of skincare that all of her readers can afford, that is easily available to everyone around Europe (and in the US as well) and that tries to have the same quality of the expensive products that are usually recommended. This is what happened when Alex Steinherr (who was director of Glamour UK for 11 years) collaborated with good old Primark to create a skincare range. I've been using a few of the products for a couple of months now and I think I can finally write a well-informed post about them! 
The range is divided into five categories them being: Pollution Solution, Pore Balance, Sleep Spa, Maximum Moisture and Plump & Glow, I've tried products from the first three categories once they were the ones that caught my attention first from the portion of the range that was available in my local Primark. 

Pollution Solution: 
This range, according to Alex was developed having in mind the level of pollution to which our skin is exposed when we live in the city. From this range, I got the Daily Skin Starter which is nothing more than a makeup primer, something you will apply on top of your moisturizer and that will give your skin a foundation for makeup. This one has a gel texture and it's really fresh on the skin. I find it to be very hydrating at the same time. I use it to replace my Too Faced HangoveRx sometimes and I think that works just as nicely even though I find the Too Faced one to be a bit more hydrating this one is more refreshing on the skin and it leaves my skin with a more glowy feeling. I sometimes also use it on its own without makeup, on top of moisturizer. 

Pore Balance:
This is the range for everyone that has a more oily skin type. From the range, I have the Super Detox Clay Mouse Face Mask and the Low-pH sulfate-free cleanser. 
From all the products I've tried, I must say the cleanser was the less impressive one. I had been in the market for a low pH cleanser for a while after reading a lot about how good a low pH cleanser was for your skin however I don't find this one to be anything special. I am not saying that I don't like it because I do but is for sure a similar product to many others that I have tried, at least I didn't notice anything special in my skin while using it, but let's keep in mind I normally get my cleansers at a much higher price and my skin behaved the same, so that for sure is a good sign.
The mask is an amazing product. I had a few questions about it so I send a DM on Instagram to Alex who answered me in the same night saying that we should apply it for as long as we find it necessary, she does it for 10 minutes normally, I prefer going for 20. The texture is amazing, its a super light and creamy texture that feels like we are putting whipped cream on our faces. It always leaves the skin feeling clean and hydrated (of course I always moisturize afterward but it doesn't make my skin feel dry).

Sleep Spa: 
A range made to revive our skin while we sleep. This is the best discovery I've made from the whole collection. I own the Sleeping Face Mask and the Every Night Eye Mask. I use these products every day. They are super moisturizing and nourishing. I feel like my skin has been a lot more hydrated without being greasy or breaking out since I started using these products. The Sleeping Mask is a very nourishing night cream and the Every Night Eye Mask has a gel texture and it's both refreshing and hydrating. I feel like my under eyes are a bit less noticeable since I start using the product (but it's not a miracle worker and concealer is still my best friend). I think these two are my absolute favorites from what I've tried so far and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of this range. My skin really reacted well to the formula of these products and I think I will always have backups of them on hand.

I feel like overall this collection is amazing. The results that I managed to achieve at the low price range really works for my skin. However, keep in mind that everybody skin is different and that what works for me might not work for you. Although I think that at this price point you really should give it a try for yourself. The range as I said is available at Primark and the collection is permanent. 
On one last note, I want to say that the Alex x Primark range is Vegan and 100% cruelty-free as well. 

Why are Influencers so Hard to Trust

According to the Oxford Online Dictionary, an Influencer is "A person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media". 
However, if this is the definition of an influencer why is it so hard for the consumer to trust them? This topic has been on my mind for a very long time and I think I finally got my ideas clear enough to write this blog post. In a world where anyone with a smartphone is able to become an influencer, is easy to fall into the trap of losing credibility in order to make more money. 

For example, if I see 10 different girls posting similar pictures with similar captions promoting the exact same product in a way that we can almost see that their text and picture style was a copy paste from one another I automatically lose interest in them as influencers, it makes it 10 times harder for me to buy said product because I feel like all the opinions we find online ware made by the brand, instead of being thoughtful and honest reviews that would help their followers make a decision. I truly believe that for a person to be called an influencer said person has to be able to influence someone, however by following this copy paste, no creativity, give me the money mentality the only thing that they will achieve is to screw it up, not only for them but for everyone else who works hard, has some good ethical values and whose goal is not to sell stuff but to simply share their passions with their followers.

So how do we chose who can we trust? Well, in my opinion there a few things that really can help. Firstly be sure that you are being informed when a piece of content was paid for. Any social media post you see with the #AD indicates that the content was sponsored by a brand and that the person behind the page is being paid to share said post with their followers, this applies to everyone from Kim Kardashian to any person with 100 followers if there is an #AD the content was paid. This may be taken from different approaches, but when I see someone being totally opened about the content that they are creating, the PR they are receiving and when you can see that they put the exact same amount of work and honesty in an #AD that they do in all their other posts, I am 100% more likely to trust them, their opinions and their recommendations.

Influencers marketing is something that has grown a lot in the last couple of years, because this type of advertisement is a lot closure to the consumer, and the person who is advertising plays both roles in their lives. They are both the consumers and the advertisers, they try other products for other brands and share that experience with the public. They are real human beings with real opinions, that they normally share.
This type of advertisement is not supposed to be scripted, like a TV AD campaign, it's supposed to be as real as all the content the person shares and that is why it works. When brands start to control content produced by influencers the trust is broken, the public suspects that something has been scripted and I normally unfollow the person immediately. Instagram has already enough ADs that I didn't ask to see as it is.

Anyway, I feel like if we keep our eyes opened and if we are truly aware of who we follow this won't be a problem. If we built a relationship with the person who is creating content we can easily see if something changed because we get used to their approach to all different topics. If we get a wrong vibe from a post, well 99% it's for a reason. I by no means am trying to attack bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers and content creators in general by writing this post. I just want to share my thoughts, all content creation careers are built based its trust. Most of us work our asses off to be able to get deals with brands, but we need to ask ourselves if selling out our integrity is worth it for a couple of bucks and if the answer to that question is yes, I guarantee, you are doing it for the wrong motives.

Photography: João Machado 
Location: Quinta do Lago, Algarve, Portugal

Looking at my Phone from a New Perspective

A few months ago I was mugged and they took my phone, the experience made me realize how dependent I was on my phone and how much I relied on it to do almost everything. How I wasn't able to simply walk down the street without having this little object in my hand and how much I was missing out of the world because of it. 
I am addicted to my phone and to social media, I spend 2hours on Instagram today (I know, shame on me), I do a lot of meaningless scrolling and even though that is a habit that I am trying to break I still do it. 
When I got mugged I was in Lisbon and I couldn't come home to deal with the problems of replacing my phone for around a week, which meant that I was phoneless for a week and this truly changed my perspective.  

I found myself being more aware of everything around me. I would go to the tube and see everyone there on their phones while I would just observe because I didn't have a phone to be on. I could observe how obsessed people were with their own little worlds, too obcessed to care about anyone else, too obsessed to even look away to say polite things like I'm sorry after bumping into someone. 
I also got to enjoy my days more because I didn't know what time it was at all times, I ended up being more spontaneous once I didn't get to text anyone before making a decision and to be more present on the present moment instead of living planing the future or stuck in the past. 
Of course that that week had its downsides as well. It was terrible not having my phone to set an alarm in the morning and having to ask one of my flatmates to wake me up, or not being able to post on Instagram which I feel is an essential part of my work here on the blog. Besides that, I start looking at the world with different eyes, I started being more mindful of the unnecessary time I spend on my phone especially when I am out of the house and there are so many better things to look at than a screen. 
So I challange you to try and not look at your social media when you are out of the house, do it for a week and see how much of a prison from the real world your phone truly is and how much you can observe when you are focusing on something else.

5 High-end Products That Made it to The Makeup Bag

What better way to start the New Year than with a little revamp of the everyday makeup bag? Since November I've fallen back in love with makeup, especially with making my complexion look absolutely perfect even if I'm not wearing much else.  A soft and glowy look has been my go-to for the winter months and these five products have been a few new additions that help me achieve the look I've been going for.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC25: 36.95€:  For my birthday one of my best friends got me this foundation from MAC, even though I've been loving medium coverage foundations more and more by the day, I feel like one always needs a more full coverage foundation in their makeup bag, especially during the festive season. I've been enjoying this one quite a bit. I prefer to apply it with my Beauty Blender because I feel like it gives a more natural finish. As for it being waterproof, I can't say anything, once I haven't tried it and probably I won't try it. I think this is a good foundation option for special occasions it doesn't accumulate in the fine lines and it's not cakey, at least not when mixes with the Too Faced HangoveRX Primer and the MAC Fix +. 

Benefit Dew The Hoola: 31.55€: Out of all the products I am going to be talking about this one is the most recent one, I've only had it for a week and I already see it as an essential. I've been wanting to get a cream bronzer for a LONG time but never got around to purchase one. I bought this thinking I was buying the Hoola Quickie Contour Stick, I didn't even realize Benefit made any other form of cream bronzer, it was on sale for 20€ at Sephora and I got it right away. Once I opened it I realized it wasn't a stick but a liquid bronzer. I've been using it ever since underneath my foundation to give a little bit of contour to my face and then I top it with the Hoola Powder to give a sharp and bronzed look to my face. It truly is life changing. I've also been using it on its own on top of foundation in order to give me a little-bronzed look when I am doing a no-makeup makeup look. I really think this is a product you should add to your routine because it really makes a difference. 

Fenty Beauty Bomb Baby Lip and Face Set Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow and Killawatt in Hu$tla Baby: 20€ for the kit / 17.50€ for the gloss / 34.90€ for the highlighter: This was another birthday gift that I got from Joãos parents. I got the set with a mini Gloss Bomb and mini Killawatt. I had never tried Fenty Beauty before and the little kit seemed like the perfect option to try out from the brand. 
The highlighter is absolutely amazing. It truly makes my skin glow. It's super pigmented which makes it a lot more versatile, I use it as an eyeshadow most days as well as a blush topper and highlighter. It has a really beautiful rose gold tone and it complements my everyday makeup really well. I don't think I've ever used a highlighter this much which is visible in the picture, especially if you think that I've been using it for less than two months. 

If you had told me a couple of months ago that I would be writing about a lipgloss that I have worn almost every day (to my boyfriends complains) for almost two months I would say that you were crazy, yet here we are. The Gloss Bomb is exactly that. The most amazing lipgloss in the world. I use it on top of any nude and I use it on its own. It helps make reds glossy Marylin Moroe vibes and my lips look nourished and kissable when they are very dry and flaky. It truly is the gloss to try if you are not in love with lipgloss at all. One of the makeup products I have ever tried, to the point I am considering getting the other shades too. Not to talk about the amazing packaging in all the Fenty products that is just the most aesthetically pleasing thing in the universe.

Clinique Chubby Lash Mascara: 23,55€: This is probably the perfect name for this mascara. If you are looking for a mascara that will give you volume and doll looking lashes that are a bit clumpy this is the product for you. Forget about separation, this mascara won't give you that, but it makes my lashes look like a total dream. I like to use it when I am not wearing any liner and very little eyeshadow and at the same when I go full force with a crazy smokey eye I find myself picking this one up. I feel like mascara is a very personal thing and I was blessed to have very full and long lashes which makes it easier for mascaras to work for me, however, I am very exigent and I always want to go for the fake lashes look without wearing fake lashes. This mascara is a really good one and I have been using it almost every day for the past couple of months. I do think the formula becomes better when it's a bit more dried out (after one or two weeks of being opened). If you are in the market for a good mascara that will give you doll lashes this one is one to try.