Featured Slider

My Summer Favorites Products

Summer is a season of long days and longer nights, almost no makeup and consequently a change in my product stash. Today I decided to hop on here and kick off my favourite month of Summer with a few products I have been loving this past few months. From skin care to body products and makeup items here are my favourites of the moment. 

 Ultra Light Face and Neckline Protector (Ecran Sun - 9.99€): Sunscreen is an essential all year round, but it becomes even more important in the Summer when we are more exposed to it. After going to my local drugstore I was recommended this brand, that apparently is quite big in Spain but that I had never heard of before. I got this product after I got an awful sunburn, needless to say, that I never missed sunscreen on my routine again. I truly like this one, it's inexpensive and it doesn't let me burn. At the same time, it's hydrating and it doesn't leave a white cast behind. I would really recommend this product and this brand. 

Facial Spray with Aloe, Chamomile and Lavender (Mario Badescu - 9.90€): Mario Badescu is one of those brands that are Instagram dreamy. The brand only started to be sold in Portugal recently and I had to get a product. I picked one of their Facial Sprays, the one that seemed more relaxing and shooting for my skin that suffers from daily aggressions such as salt, sun and chlorine. I use this product as a toner, a facial mist, a primmer and a setting spray. It's an easy product to carry around that my skin loves and that I want to have on hand at all times. 

Tahitian Holiday Body Mist (Avon - 3.50€): I love body sprays in the summer. They are easy to carry around, they smell nice and they are refreshing, the perfect combo for the sunny days. The one I've been using most this Summer is this one from Avon. It has a strong and sweet sense and it smells mostly of vanilla. I love how fresh it is while still being quite a strong smell, the kind of smell I usually enjoy. 

Mineralized Skin Finish Natural Pressed Powder in Medium Plus (MAC - 32€): I don't use pressed powder often, normally to just make my concealer last when I skip foundation, but I sweat a lot in the summer time and if I am wearing makeup (something that rarely happens these days) I want it to last as long as it can. After hearing so many YouTubers I love talking about the Mac Mineralized Skin Finish Natural I had to give it a try. This is a lightweight powder that mattifies my skin while still making it look healthy and glowy. I think this is one of the best powders on the market for people who like me prefer a more glowy and lightweight makeup look. 

They're Real Mascara (Benefit - 29.50€): I got this mascara as a Christmas present but I only started using it around May. I had heard of it before, of course, but I had never tried it. It quickly became a favourite. It gives my lashes length and volume without being clumpy. I have gotten questioned if I got lash extensions done while wearing it. I really like this product but this one isn't my favourite Benefit mascara. If you want my honest opinion (and even though this is one of my top 5 mascaras ever!) I would recommend the Roller Lash over this one at any given day. 

And those were the 5 products I've discovered this Summer. Some of these I know will remain favourites during the colder months, others are more likely to be kept in a drawer until next Summer anyways. I truly hope you enjoyed this post and keep an eye out because there are many more to come.

The Art of Self-Love

Self-love, such a though art to practice to a generation that is constantly bombarded with images of what they should and shouldn't be. Of what is right and what is wrong, we learn that we should love our bodies, our mind and everything about us for simply being who we are. At the same time, we are bombarded with pictures that show us that we are not enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, our life isn't exciting enough. We get stuck in loops of self-doubt, self-comparison and, regardless of what we do, we are never good enough to the crazy high standards we have. Self-love becomes something we preach but the opposite of what we practice. 
If you had told me one year ago that I would be uploading topless pictures to my blog I would call you crazy. I would say that I would never do that, that I wasn't that type of person. Deeply I lacked the self-confidence to do so. To ask someone to take the pictures, to post them. What will other people think? It was a bold move I wasn't bold enough to take. 

As I grow older (and hopefully wiser), I realize that the problem with self-love is that it truly isn't self-love. It's not on us, it's on what other people say, think or do. People talk and regardless of how good looking, successful or amazing we are it will always affect us, because we are all human. 
The moment we are aware of this fact is the moment self-love becomes easier to practice. 
Self-love, at least for me, has risen from simple acts of being kind to myself. To look at myself in the mirror and realizing what I like and what I don't, to do my best to change what I don't. To take responsibility for my actions and my feelings, being the best version of myself is a task that depends only on me. Basically, self-love starts when you are aware of what you have, change what you can, and accept what you can change. 

Something else I've noticed is how little do we know ourselves. We are afraid of being lonely, so we don't spend any time alone, consequently, all that we are, we are because of the influence of other people. 
Most of us are afraid of doing things alone, things like going for a walk, going to the beach or to the cinema, because we have no one to talk to and consequently we have to deal with ourselves, our emotions and our feelings, no more hiding it to the outside because everything, suddenly, becomes both the outside and the inside. It's a hard decision to make, to spend more time by yourself, but it's also very rewarding. I only realized everything I wrote about in this post while spending time by myself, reflecting on my thoughts and my actions. 

We shouldn't be afraid of other people opinions or dressing a certain way, painting your hair a certain colour. Life has no rules and if changing any of those things about yourself will help you feel better with the person that you are, and that you are becoming, do it. If you are happy with who you are and how you feel, if you practice self-love, what others have to say will not matter, it won't make a difference, because you will know that you are working to be the best version of yourself that you possibly can. 

Location: Ilha da Armona, Algarve, Portugal 
Photography: Sofia Filipe

5 Products I Can't Live Without

I've been sharing little collections of 5 products here on the blog during the whole of 2019. It is something that I've really been loving to do, it makes me think more before mentioning a product here. It makes me more aware of what I am consuming, it's the basic rule of quality over quantity (also the reason why beauty posts have been less and less frequent). For today's post, I decided to talk about 5 products that I keep on me at all times. I can't live without these products. I've had all of them for years and years and I always go back to them. They are mostly affordable, and they are, in my opinion, the best option in the market. 

 HangoveRx Hydrating Primmer (Too Faced - 35.50€): This product was first mentioned here in May 2017. 2 years later and countless bottles of this beautiful primmer it's still going strong for me. 
I love the effect it gives on my skin, when I apply it I feel like a glowy goddess, when I am without it my makeup doesn't last as long, my skin doesn't look has glowy and it's like my skin is hangovered for it. 
It smells of coconuts and it has a light moisturizing texture. It is absorbed by the skin within seconds and it gives my skin looking moisturized, glowy and healthy. I love it underneath makeup but I love it on its own just as much. It's the perfect product to keep people from asking me if I am sick (something that happens all the time when I go makeup free).

Micellar Cleansing Water (Garnier - 4.45€): I've tried all the versions of this product that have been made, as you can see from this October 2016 post.  The original will always be my favourite. This is the only micellar water I trust to remove makeup from my skin on daily basses. It is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, perfect for any skin type even the most sensible ones. I would 100% recommend this product, especially because it is also super affordable. A great product to always keep on hand. I use it every single day and I have done so for more than 2 years. It's the type of product I keep backups in case it gets discontinued because I literally don't know what I would do without it.

Lip Liner Pencil in Desert Sand (Primark - 1.5€): Another product I've first tried in 2016 was the Primark lip liners. I was never a lip liner girl before them and they converted me. The formula is incredible, they are smooth and very pigmented. I love the shade Desert Sand the most, to the point I have one in my purse, another one with my makeup and 4 unopened as backups just in case the shade gets discontinued. It is the perfect neutral mauve pink tone to use underneath any lipstick shade. It also works amazingly on its own or with a small layer of lipgloss on top.

The Traceless Hair Ring (Invisibboble - 5.50€): I've been using invisibobles in my hair since they started being sold in Portugal, even though they were only mentioned on the blog in December 2016. I never used any other type of hair elastic since. They are perfect, they don't hurt my hair, they don't break (only after months and months of use), they don't give me headaches or anything like it. This is by far the best hair product I own, one I will always recommend this brand when people ask me what hair ties to get, I don't care if you have curly, thick, thin or straight hair. This is by far the best option in the market regarding hair ties.

Elvive Low Shampoo (L'óreal - 5.99€): Finally a product that I am sharing for the first time, but it doesn't stop being a favourite because of that. This product was released in Portugal in 2017 and after many years of watching Victoria from Inthefrow talk about it, I knew I had to get it to know what the hype was about. It is my favourite shampoo formula on the market. It leaves my hair looking shiny and hydrated without using conditioner afterwards, something that never happened to me before. This is one of the best drugstore options when it comes to hair care and one I keep on my bathroom at all times.

And this is it guys, these are the 5 products I can't live without. 5 products I think are totally worth the try. I would 100% recommend any of these (especially as the majority is pretty affordable). Those are products that have been part of my routines for years and that I trust completely.

Photography: Ana Teresa Pessoa 

Belém das Descobertas do Tejo para o Mundo

For my second Lisbon city guide, I decided to take a stroll around Belém, share with you the small knowledge I have on the Portuguese navigation golden days and the monuments you can visit that make this area one of the biggest tourist attraction in the city. Belém is the best representation of Gótico Manuelino, a ramification of the Gothic style that was present in Portugal, developed during the reign of kind D.Manuel I and that adds nautical elements to the gothic style. 
Belém is the kind of place that makes us travel back in time, which makes quite an ungrateful task to sum it up in a blog post. I am going to try my best to do justice to this amazing place. 

To get to Belém via public transportation you have many buses you can take but if you are travelling from the centre of Lisbon I would take the tram 15 that goes from Praça do Comércio to Belém and it takes around 30 minutes.
Once you get there you can visit one of the many museums the area as to offer such as Museu Nacional dos Coches, MAAT (a trendy building for Instagram pictures, that I couldn't photograph on the day I shot this post), Museu da Marinha, and many more. 
You are also more than welcome to stop to eat a Pastel de Belém, a variation of the Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pasteis de Nata) that is probably the most famous. They are delicious and whenever I get them I always eat at least two!

Regarding monuments, Torre de Belém is probably one of my favourites. Classified in 1986 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO the tower was built on the 16th century with the purpose of being a defensive formation. It takes us back to a time in which Portuguese Caravelas travelled all over the world, in search of new places, new markets and new cultures.

The building within itself is magnificent. It's a postcard from Lisbon similar to what the Eifel Tower is to Paris.   

The next monument that is also a must-see is the beautiful Padrão dos Descobrimentos, an ode to the famous Portuguese navigators, facing the river, lead by Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator).  The man that lead the expeditions to the New World during the age of the discoveries.  The building is shaped like a Caravela facing the river as if it's ready to take off. 
It's magnificent.

If you are seeking a more cultural experience the Centro Cultural de Belém - CCB is the place to go.  With a diverse program in different artistic areas, it offers multiple shows from music to theatre, to many other things. If one of your goals while visiting Lisbon is to get to know the cultural scene of the city it's mandatory that you check the CCB agenda while planning to see if there are any exhibitions that may interest you. 

Last but absolutely not least (I mean if I was to present the places in order this one would probably be first) is the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Another masterpiece of Gótico Manuelino. It reflects how rich we were around the time this was built, how hard it must have been to build something as magnificent and huge with the technology available in 1502.  It's magnificent (probably the word I've used the most on this guide but the word the describes this area the best). 
If you have to decide which of these monuments is worth to spend money visiting I would, without thinking twice, this one. 
Many important figures of Portuguese history lay in there, such as Fernando Pessoa, Luis de Camões, or Vasco da Gama
If you don't have time to visit the building on the inside, visiting the gardens is almost as worthy. There you will find an amazing view on both sides. You will see the monastery on one side and the Tagus river on the other. It's a great place to simply sit down and enjoy the sun. 

Overall Belém is one of my favorite areas in Lisbon. A great place to relax, to learn and to get direct contact with history. If you want to educate yourself more on a time in which Portugal ruled the world and its oceans this is the place to come.

Location: Belém, Lisbon, Portugal 

An Honest Chat About Sustainability

Sustainability is the hot topic of the moment, and I'm glad it is. After all, we only have one planet, the fact that leading an eco-friendly lifestyle became trendy is a good thing. It means that more people are willing to try and make changes to the way they are living, yet it can also mean that the subject will stop being a topic once it stops being trendy. 
I, like most of us, am guilty of falling into the trend, and consequently start becoming more aware of what I buy, what I use and what am I consuming in general.

Today I thought I could share with you my thoughts and opinions on this topic. I realize that my opinion may be a little bit controversial, but I think it's time I share my thoughts in here. 
A Portuguese Zero Waste Instagrammer that I follow, named Catarina Barreiros, shared a quote the other day that ran along the lines of "We don't need a hand full of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions doing it imperfectly." and if I had to use a quote to summarize my point of view on the matter this would be it. I don't do as much as I could and I am aware of it. I use a lot of plastic, I buy fast fashion and I eat meat, all things that can be condemned by more extremist environmental activists (something I am not). However, I am conscious of these decisions and I have been trying to make little changes in my life so that I can lead a life that is more environmentally friendly, I must assure you that all the little steps I've done are easy and can be done by anyone who's willing to make a change. 
The real difference is made when a lot of people make little changes instead of trying to change everything about the way they live only to finding it too hard and simply giving up. 

As I said I do eat meat, but after watching Cowspiracy I've learned a lot about the dark side of the meat industry. Did you know that to produce 1 Kilo of beef it takes up to 15 000 Liters of water, to produce 1 Kilo of pork up to 6 000 Liters? Not to talk about the fact that the biggest cause of the hole in the ozone layer is the CO2 generated by cow farts (it's all on the documentary if you don't believe me). 
After having this knowledge I simply couldn't keep eating meat more than 10 times a week. I then and there made the conscious decision of eating one vegetarian meal every day, leaving animal protein to be eaten for the other. I truly believe that if everyone did this, the mass production of meat would be an easy fix problem. I do love vegetables which is a big help, but I've had to try new things in the kitchen and try my best to keep this habit going. I didn't feel much of a difference in my routine but at the end of the day, I know I am making a difference. 
Another thing I truly believe in. Is that the fast fashion industry (which includes basically everything I've ever got) is a needed industry. It allows a lot of people to be able to dress because most of us can't afford to buy only from sustainable brands. I would love to be able to do that, but at these point in time, I absolutely can't. So I do the next best thing. I buy only pieces that I know I will have a lot of wear out of. For example, the top I am wearing cost 3€ for Lefties 2 Summers ago and it's still going strong. I've had the denim shorts from Pull and Bear for over 5 Years and they are still my favourite piece of denim shorts. I have certain pieces that I've had for years and years and that I always find myself going back too. I try to repair the pieces when they need repairing and when I am done with them they are normally to worn out to go anywhere but the trash can. If not, I always had the habit to pass it on, either to my mum, some friends or to some charity that collects clothes. This way I know I am doing my part making the fast fashion industry a little bit slower. 

Now, let's talk about the elephant in the room. A little friend we have named PLASTIC. Recently plastic has almost become a forbidden word, a word that carries a lot of baggage within itself. If we talk plastic, we talk about ocean pollution, fish genocide, the end of drinkable water. However, and even though most of us are aware of its dangers, plastic has become an indispensable part of our routine. It's in our food, in our shower, in our makeup bag, in our closet, it's basically anywhere if we care to look.  
I've been making an effort to reduce my usage of plastic by making little unnoticeable changes. So far I've replaced my toothbrush for a bamboo one, I've stopped using shower gel and started using soap bars instead, I always carry a metal straw in my bag so that I am not using the disposable ones. 
When it comes to the supermarket I try to carry a tote bag with me in which I can carry my groceries, I never use the little plastic bags they have available for fruits and vegetables. 
Another thing I  try to do is to buy locally. I get most of my fruits and vegetables from a local grocery store I know the owner and he knows me, it's less expensive, I know the products are great and it feels really nice to support a local small business.

These are a few of the changes that I've made so far. I know they seem small, but a lot of small actions make a big difference. I hope to keep educating myself on this matter, and I hope to keep doing what I can to preserve our beautiful planet, so that places like the one this post was shoot at don't become a memory, but a reality, places I will be able to take my kids to one day and that they will take their kids too as well. 

Photography: Alexandre Serôdio 
Location: Loulé, Algarve, Portugal