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Our Generation Lost the Ability of Being in the Moment


Ironic, I am writing this blog post, sharing it online, when it's the online presence that I am aiming against here. I've been reflecting over the fact that we (as a generation) lost the ability to be present in the moment. We physically are there, but mentally we are lost in our own little worlds.
Think about it, when we pick a restaurant to go out and eat, we decided based on how instagramable it is, when we book a vacation we decide the destination having in mind the pictures we are going to take (or why do you think places like Bali became so trendy in the second half of this decade?!). We do things so that we can show other people that we are doing them, making life a mechanical show of. From the clothes to the decoration, passing by the cafés and places we visit, everything has likes, views and numbers at the top of the priorities list. We want a scoop into other people lives and they want to present us with the absolutely most dreamy and amazing version of themselves, regardless of how fake that might be.

The problem is, we get so caught up into pretending to be the best version of ourselves that we forget to actually be it.
We neglect other people because we have to post a picture when the stats tell us that the picture will do best. We spend so much time taking pictures of our food that it often goes cold, taking pictures of nature that we only look at it through a screen, ignoring the beauty our own eyes can capture. We, as a generation, lost the ability to simply look, to enjoy to reflect upon what we are watching. If something is pretty we snap a picture of it, this way we can always remember a moment we didn't truly experience. 

I spend too much time on my phone, actually is where this blog post is being written (not something I usually do but the idea was so stuck in my head I couldn't help it). I spend more time looking at my phone than cooking, working out, reading, sometimes even sleeping. When you put things into that perspective is terrifying. A device has my full attention at most times. A device, either I wanted it to or not, controls my life. I'm writing this post because I truly believe this is a problem many people my age feel, our generation is the first to deal with this type of pressure because we are the first generation to grow up with the internet, technology, easy access to everything and social media platforms.

This post is being seen by me as a turning point, we are at the end of a decade, 2020 is soon upon us, and for that reason I wanted, more than ever to reflect where I want my life to go, how I want to enjoy the world and live my life. I want to make a conscious effort to enjoy the world more, to travel more, to visit new places, to get to know new cultures and to see the world, instead of sharing it. 
Don't miss understand me, please. I love to share my life, that is what I do here on the blog and on my social media platforms, but I want to stop living life with the purpose of sharing it, I want to start doing it with the purpose of living it, and if for some reason I think that it's worth sharing I consequently will, but that will stop being the goal.

At the same time, I have set limits to the time I spend on the Youtube app on my phone and on Instagram, is that I will only, from now on, allow myself the time the app allows if I want some sort of extra entertainment I will pick up a book, a movie, a tv show and try to focus on that. This is very important to me because I've been feeling like my attention span is getting extremely short, and it's scary, I often find myself talking to someone, watching a TV show and scrolling at the same time, not paying full attention to either of the tasks, bombarding my brain with information and yet failing to concentrate on anything.  This process of change I am meaning to put to action right away will (hopefully) help me concentrate more, spend more time doing things I enjoy and be surrounded by the people I love so that consequently, I am able to create more honest content and share stuff that actually brought me happiness while creating instead of living in the bubble of self-comparison and trying to look better than others. 
At the end of the day, I am hoping that by spending less time on my phone and looking at screens I am able to share better content on my online platforms and live a happier life.

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Photography: Catarina Rosa 

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