News report of my Queensday experience

As I was saying before I was going to write about my preparation for Queensday. Unfortunately Queensday was today and I did not post anything. I'm sorry. Queensday turned into a big chaos, outfit dillemma's, not being able to find my friends, waiting for friends those took a different direction or got lost, one getting injured. But even though it was a lot of fun!
Yes.. But what is Queensday? In dutch we say Koninginnedag and is actually the day the country celebrates the Queen's birthday (april 30th). Actually the Queen who just stepped down her birthday is on January 31st, but her mother's was on april 30th so she kept the date as for the time of the year it is more likely to have nice weather. Koninginnedag is the biggest celebrated party in the Netherlands and the last one was april 30th! This is because of the throne change. Queen Beatrix stepped down and handed the Queendom over to her son. Since King Willem Alexander his birthday is on april 26th, starting from 2014 Kingsday (not Queensday) will be held on April 27th. In dutch Kingsday is
If you want to know more about Koninginnedag check out Wikipedia

So the tradition of Koninginnedag is that we all dress up in orange. We go to flee-markets, parties, drink a lot of beer (if you're interested), hang out on the street and eat everything we see. A lot of fun! Although it is very very difficult to find people during that day, Queensday is a lot of fun and a great thing to celebrate.
The Pictures

I absolutely love this colour!
Super ugly blush, I save for Queensday..
I was planning to wear a dress, but the temperature wasn't summer-dress friendly. Btw I was wearing shoes outside ^^
50 cents per item. This was the nail polish section only
Vintage "shop"

Meet my cousin Shaista
Little girl selling here self made bracelets
My Favo Rock band! They were so adorable!
Canal jammed with boats, peoples and loud music.

Stage for a concert. Where's everyone
Krishna in the building!
Straight from Jamaica
Some walking by girls stopped to dance with the musician

I don't know the guy on the left, but look at those people in the back enjoying themselves!
Even Jesus came to hola at the Queen ^.^
Okay so that was my Queensday. Although I found this year a little disappointing compared to the others. But next year will be better!

A sunny sunday inside..

Today the weather is perfect to sit outside. The sun is shining, not too much wind, though the temperature wasn't too high. But still good enough to be named a nice spring day.
I am still inside in my pj's trying to catch up with all the school work I wasn't able to do these past 2 days. Not fun, but ohh well, I live on the sun side, so I can still enjoy the sun while working on school stuff.
To take a break from all the studying I decided to decorate one empty table of mine. I had some newly bought tulips, yes I love tulips and the Netherlands has a lot of them, and a lot of perfume and cosmetics samples.
I placed the tulips in a normal vase and my samples in two wine glasses. One for the perfumes and one for the cosmetic samples. It looked so cute together. Especially with my big fat garfield telephone watching over them.

Today I was going to post my preparation for Queensday, but since I was not feeling a hundred percent I stayed in. I need to purchase some small things to make my outfit complete. But I will post my Queensday edition tomorrow night or on queens day itself! So stay tuned to read about the biggest celebrated fest in the Netherlands!


Nail polish madness

Today I am feeling a little better, but not good enough to focus on school. So I decided to go shopping for some new cosmetics. I went to my local drugstore and purchased two new nail polishes both from L'Oreal.
I like the black and white confetti, but it's difficult to combine it. I first tried it with orange, but it wasn't working. I think the contrast was to big.
Then I tried it with this green nail polish I just bought and it looks so cute! I really like the result. I think this confetti polish goes well with gold and other metallic nail polishes also. So I will try that out in the future.
L'Oreal has reasonable quality nail polish. Although some of their nail polish can be stripy, but it stays on for a couple of days. Unlike other nail polishes I have tested, those stay on for not longer than 1 day.  What I also like about the flasks is that they are not too big. I dislike that nail polishes come in such big sizes. Even if you would use them everyday, it will still take like half a year to finish one bottle. But okay, I would recommend these nail polishes from L'Oreal. They have the confetti in gold as well, which is also super cute.
I will blog again about nail polishes, but first preparation for Queensday!
Have a sunny saturday!

My night alone with the flu

After a long week of overtime working, studying and hanging out with friends (even though it was just 2 nights), the flu took me to bed. I had to leave school early today, just to sleep.
Flu's are harsh on you. They really slow you down or actually stop you.
Good sleeps, lots of tea and chicken soup can help with giving your body some extra relaxation. 
I don't taste a lot when I have a flu, so I like drinking juice. I choose any juice, because I only taste the sweetness of the juice. But I still like apple pear. It's so yummy.

But other than to your body, flu's are also harsh on your skin. Because your body temperature is higher, your skin gets dehydrated easily. So I needed hydration. At 21.30 (9.30 pm) after a good daytime sleep, I decided to go to the drugstore. I came back with a cream Hydreane Riche from La Roche-Posay, a new ceralip, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and a sample from Eucerin.
I took 2 paracetamols to feel a little better and tried the Hydreane. It's so good. You can feel the oils penetrating in the skin. I applied it two times, because I know my skin is vulnerable. I checked the ingredients list and there was really not much special in it. Just glycerin and shea butter. They have a saying "less is more". The cream contains nothing more than the skin needs. And it's affordable. I really like it. My skin feels like velvet, it's soft and hydrated. 

A good treat for yourself is a steam bath with a little bit of tea tree oil. It opens up the nose to get some air. You will feel fresh and happy. I sometimes add the tea tree oil to a peace of kitchen towel and breath it in directly from the towel. It's strong though, so be careful. I had the tea tree oil at home, I will use it right before I go to bed, so I can sleep well. What also helps to keep you nose open during the night, is to cut one onion in 3-4 parts and place it on a dish. It stinks though, but you can't smell anything so it's okay.

I tried the Eucerin sample as well. It's also good. It really hydrates the skin, but doesn't make it as soft as the Hydreane. And the ceralips I wrote about in my previous blog.

I'm going back to bed. 

Spring's skin care

Okay I'm back. I was away to study and pass my exams. But I'm here, I'm alive and kicking. And super nervous about the results.
Other then school. We all noticed; spring is finally showing it's face in Northern Europe! Yes! Although it took his big friend mister Too Much Wind along. But who cares, the sun is shining! And I don't need to wear 3 t-shirts to survive going outside.
Since the weather is changing, the skin's needs are changing. So everyone needs to adjust their cosmetic use to their skin's seasonal needs. Spring has less cold and dry winds so your skin will probably be less dry and sensitive. So all hydrating creams and serums can go back in the drawer and we need to focus on the other needs of our skin.
Like for example, spring - summer brings more sun, pollen, insects and more pollution (see below). Overexposure to all these factors can cause hyper pigmentation and early development of wrinkles. This indicates that no matter the age, skin type or skin colour, protection is necessary. You can use a foundation or BB cream containing an SPF higher than 15 to help against radiation from the sun. BB creams are also available with SPF 30 or higher, so BB might be a good base to protect the skin. Sunblocks containing PA(+, ++ or +++) are good protection against sun radiation. SPF is specifically to protect the skin against UVB and PA is to protect against UVA. So they say. Although some labels don't use the name PA, but still protect against UVA. Together these two sun blockers also protect agains pollution. Pollution seems to be higher during summer than during winter, because the days are longer so there's more sunlight, more ultraviolet radiation and more ozone. All these factors can influence the existence of radicals* in the air which can cause oxidation and thus damage to the skin. So sunblock is not a bad idea. Creams with antioxidants are also good products to protect your skin. For example creams containing high doses vitamin E or C or serums with antioxidants.
*Radicals are small particles that can impel oxidation of the skin.

I like the UV perfect from L'Oreal, it has SPF50 and PA+++ which gives optimum protection against the sun. I use it as a moisturizing base under my make up, but after my day cream. 
I like the Capital Soleil from Vichy, which I use for the rest of my body. I know it sounds as if I don't want to tan at all, but woman are vulnerable for hyper-pigmentation, brown spots and premature aging. So you have to protect yourself.
Then there are skin products which are good because they give your skin that extra push to stay fresh and healthy even after a long day at the beach. Cicaplast is a good cream to use at night. It contains vitamin B5 (Panthenol) which speeds up the turnover of skin cells to help the skin restore itself and stay healthy, it also helps to reduce pore size and helps with wound healing. I love this cream, because it hydrates my skin very good. And it doesn't make the skin fat or greasy. When my skin really needs that extra push, I use cicaplast as a base during the day, before my BB.
Ceralip is a cream for the lips, it is really fat and smears good so it comes in handy when you have dried lips from the sun. Both of these creams are from La Roche-Posay

The bright sun and warm weather can also cause damage to your hair which is why you should spend extra time treating your hair. Start using a conditioner if you wasn't using one. Take it easy with all the harsh perms and even anti-dandruff shampoos. Use a serum for your hair on a daily basis with special attention to the ends. Use soft oils like argan and coconut (see image) oil to keep the hair smooth. I personally like the awapuhi ginger oil from Organix, it is inspired by a Hawaiian formulation and should be used on dry hair. I just like it because Hawaiians have the same hair like me. When I was in Maui, people thought I was Hawaiian based on my hair. I mostly apply it the morning after the night I washed my hair and when my hair becomes dry.
Also avoid hair fat waxes (like petroleum waxes and juvet) and gel waxes. Fat waxes contain heavy saturated fats which are heated easily and thus can cause overheating of your hair. They also stay hot for a longer period which can induce even more damage. Gel waxes just make your hair dry. This effect is non-seasonal. 

And because I like you all and think we should be more loving towards one-another here are some beautiful deep purple tulips from Amsterdam +NL Museumplein
Take care...

Vitamins for the skin, Vitamin A

Vitamin A (Retinol) comes in different forms and has become one of the most important vitamins for the skin the past few years. Although the exact mechanism is still unknown vitamin A appears to maintain normal skin, it can down regulate sebum production in acne, reverse damage caused by sunlight, lessen the appearance of striae and cellulite, and it can normalize keratin production and preservation.
Now a days vitamin A's are medically used to treat severe forms of acne. So if you're acne seems like an endless battle talk to your doctor about using RoAccutane (Isotretinoin) or Differin (Adapaleen). Make sure you are not pregnant because high doses of vitamin A can bring severe damage to your unborn child. RoAccutane is taken orally and adapaleen is applied topically. Both of these drugs have the same adverse effect: they dry your skin in a terrible way. Thinking about it it's understandable, because they block the sebaceous glands which are actually supposed to produce sebum to moisturize your skin. But once your skin is used to the high doses of vitamin A the adverse effects stop. And so will your acne.

In cosmetics, vitamin A or so called retinol is very popular to fight fine lines and wrinkles in more mature skin, and to prevent woman in their late 20's and early 30's to develop wrinkles.
There is one product I would advice, because it is as effective as they promise and reasonable in price.

Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA
This product is available as a night, day and eye cream. I've been reading reviews about this product and people seem to be very much satisfied about it. In the USA over 230 people reviewed this product, it gets 4.8 out of 5 stars and 97% would recommend it to others. The HA (Hyaluronic acid) is responsible for filling up the fine lines and wrinkles at first, then vitamin A is responsible to prevent the skin from creating more fine lines and wrinkles. So if your goal in 2013 is to treat your skin magnificently, and to look flawless you might consider this product.

And since vitamin A is so important for the skin, I would advice everyone to upgrade their diet with vitamin A containing foods such as paté (animal liver), carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, kale and so on. 

Thanks for reading!

A great gift with a great smell

I have love for skincare products and body creams. Just an extra 5 minutes of your time for your skin, can completely transform the structure of your body skin into flawless and beautiful. Of course I now sound as if I am writing a commercial but I just want to share one of my favorite skincare brands with you.
In year 2000 Rituals was founded by Raymond Cloosterman and since then grew into a highly successful home and body cosmetics brand. It was also the first brand that combined skincare fragrance with home fragrance, the website says. Now people might think "well I am not sure if I want to smell like Ajax or Mr Clean" but that's the thing about Rituals, it will make your house smell like your skin or perfume and not the other way around. It's amazing.
I really heart Rituals for that. The fragrances they use are inspired by Eastern rituals like for example their Hammam line, Ayurveda or T'ai Chi. Or actually I'm not sure if the lines bear these names. Anyways, I mean the red/black, green, and blue/brown line. And since it's now cherry blossom season in Japan, it's time for the line scented with Sakura (cherry blossoms).

Underneath is a gift set I got for christmas. I haven't been able to use it yet, since my whole storage cabinet is full with Rituals :p. These gift sets are great for traveling. Or to give to friends. This gift set contains a foaming shower gel, shampoo, body cream and body scrub. The sizes are exactly right to put in your carry-on baggage (70 mL/2.3 Fl. Oz. each). And I love the scent of this line.

But actually my favorite scent is that of the T'ai Chi shower gel. Although I'm kind of out of stock now. I live in a small house, it's approximately 25 square meter, so if I come out of the shower my whole house smells like the T'ai Chi. I love it.

The home products of Rituals are also scented. They are famous for their fragrance sticks, fragrance candles and home perfumes. One must try these, because they smell amazing. It's too bad we can't share smells through internet, maybe some genius will figure it out sometime. 
And then they have a cotton line which is mostly focussed on clothing for home, like bathrobes, sleeping clothes, pjs (pajamas) and bath towels. Their cotton is good quality, not scented, but I've had my bathrobe for 3 years now and it still looks like new (sorry I will not put an image of my used bathrobe :)
And something I didn't try out yet is their make up line. But I will purchase some products soon. And I will write about it!

In the meantime check out

Thank you for reading again. And remember "one must smell good"

Vitamins for the skin, Vitamin C

I'm having exams (!) and honestly I could use some vitamin C to increase my resistance. So before I start with sharing my knowledge about vitamin C I will show you my newly designed orange juice+orange peel+pineapple+banana smoothie. Because of the high doses of vitamin C, this juice is a great boost to your body during stress situations. And it's yummy too.

You will need:
1 Orange the juice
1/5 of the Orange peel
1/2 Banana
150-200 g Pineapple

Result! I must say, because you add a little bit of the zest, the juice is a little bitter but hardly. If you would like to get the same amount of vitamin C inside but don't like the taste, add some honey to your juice. It helps to improve the taste.

Vitamin C is another very important antioxidant for the skin. It helps with producing lipids in the skin keeping the skin barrier strong, regulates collagen synthesis, and in combination with vitamin E protects against sunlight.
Vitamin C is not often used in cosmetics, because it is really unstable and can be degraded easily. Some cosmetics claim to contain vitamin C in an effective doses and can so help protect the skin against environmental insults and skin aging caused by sunlight. Vitamin C is mostly processed in a really low dose in the cosmetics, and since the compound is really unstable it might not have an effect at all. So if you decide to buy cosmetics with vitamin C be a little skeptical. You can actually recognize cosmetics with effective doses of vitamin C by the way it's packed. For example a jar with a screw lid is not a proper package to keep vitamin C stable for a long period. Most manufacturers would chose a bottle with a pump, a spray or a tube to protect the vitamin from oxidation.

Vitamin C is also very famous for its exfoliating properties. And it does work. Vitamin C is an acid, and exfoliating skin can usually be done with natural acids like glycol acid, lactic acid and vitamin C (also name ascorbic acid).
When I use vitamin C as an exfoliating agent I like to use both the juice from lemon and the lemon peel, because both contain high doses of vitamin C. So what I mostly do is I just cut 1 lemon in 8 parts and grind it until it forms a thick paste and apply that to my skin. I leave the first portion for 2-3 minutes, wash it of then put a new portion of the paste and leave it for 2-3 minutes again. Don't forget to keep the grinding machine closed, because vitamin C breaks down easily. Also don't apply too much, because too much acid may cause damage to the skin. With this I mean that more is not always better, so stick to a maximum of 1 lemon per week.

Thank you for reading..
I will hit the books again!

make-up Jewelry

Aloha readers!
Since summer is near I did some make up shopping and I would love to share it with you.

I bought these two lipsticks from Caresse by L'Oreal. I was reading about them online so I went to a drugstore and first purchased the 06; the pink one on the right, named Aphrodite Scarlet. I was so in love with the texture and color I decided to buy 401 as well. The red one on the left named Rebel Red. These lipsticks have a different texture than other lipsticks do. It's not that creamy and moisturizing, it's more like vaseline but more solid. I like that it gives a natural tint to your lips, instead of the painted look other lipsticks give. And what I also like is that it doesn't make your lips dry or flakey. You have to try it out. They are reasonable in price so check out your nearest L'Oreal retailer.

I also purchased a new blush. I was once at a good friend of mine who had the orange version of this blush. I tried it out and absolutely loved it. So as soon as I got my salary I went to +Sephora to purchase this blush. But instead of the orange one I bought number 8 Red Agate, which suits my skin tone better. I am super happy with this blush also because it's creamy and stays on longer than powder blushes do, especially during summer. And of course since I am obsessed with checking out ingredients; this blush is suitable for sensitive skin it doesn't contain parabens, sulphates or perfume oils. 

Here are some pictures of me wearing the lipsticks
Wearing 06 Aphrodite Scarlet Caresse by L'Oreal. Sorry my nail polish doesn't exactly fit my outfit.
Right after I bought the 401 Rebel Red Caresse by L'Oreal. I had to try it out immediately.

I don't have a picture with the blush on yet. But I will in the future!
Next time I will continue with my story about vitamins for the skin. Vitamin C is up next. 
Thanks for reading!

Vitamins for the skin, Vitamin E

 Vitamin E is a very important skin membrane anti-oxidant, it protects against oxidative damage and in combination with vitamin C protect against sunlight. Oxidative effect means that the compound can protect the skin against free radicals those can cause damage to skin lipids and so skin cells.
In cosmetics vitamin E goes under the name tocopherol or tocotrienol. Almost every cream or serum I have ever listed the ingredients of, contains tocopherol. Vitamin E also has the ability to protect the cream itself from oxidation, so the cream stays good and stable for a longer period. When α and β tocopherol are listen in the ingredients list, vitamin E is an antioxidant for the cream itself. When vitamin E is an active compound, meaning it actually does something to your skin, it goes under the name tocopherol acetate, tocopherol or simply vitamin E. 
Creams containing high doses of vitamin E are good creams, especially for more mature skin.
Here are some organic creams I like:

 You can find this cream at the Walgreens for sure. I use it as a body cream, but you can also use it as a day or night cream. The cream is super cheap, it costs about 4 dollars.   

 Then you have the Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E bath & body oil. I love Burt's Bees, it's so organic and good. I have this oil as well, although I don't use it daily. I use it whenever my skin is really dry and flakey or when I spend 1,5 hour in the tub :) You can apply this oil instead of a night cream or with a night cream, you can add it to the bath tub or use it as a body oil.
The reviews about this product are really good, and it costs approximately $8

 Then this face cream. Although the name doesn't imply it, it does contain vitamin E in effective dosis. This cream does not contain anything that could irritate the skin. It's good for oily skin, although the the calming gel might give better results. It absorbs quickly, it's lightweight and apparently also good to calm down rosacae and eczema.

 Then the last one. I bought this cream in the Netherlands (Amsterdam). It contains a good dose of vitamin E, it's super cheap and very good quality. It's also good for sensitive skin since it contains so little extras. So if you ever go to the Netherlands, check out this cream, it's worth trying.

Vitamins for the skin, coenzyme Q

The most important vitamins for the skin are vitamin A, C, D, E and coenzyme Q.
I will discuss all 5 vitamins in my following blogs.
Let us start with  coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 does not carry the name vitamin, because it is not exactly a vitamin, but has properties of vitamins, like anti-oxidative and it regenerates vitamin E from the skin when needed. Coenzyme Q10 protects the skin from free radicals by binding them and making them inactive. Free radicals in this specific case are caused by UVA sun damage and therefore a cream with coenzyme Q10 should be helpful for those who live in sunny places or like sunbathing. Research confirmed that applying coenzyme Q10 to the skin, protects the skin against photo-aging (aging caused by the sun) and reduced the depth of wrinkles.
The skincare industry recently discovered the role of coenzyme Q in protecting against photo-aging, so the use of this vitamin in cosmetics is limited. It's difficult to find over the counter or prescribed creams with effective doses of coenzyme Q10. But after searching I found these samples:

Sold at Walgreens in the USA and at the local pharmacy in Europe, Eucerin Q10 is a product I would highly recommend to people. It really protects against sun damage and aging. The reviews about this product are great (5 stars on a scale from 1 to 5) and it's not over priced (about $12 or € 12). The ingredients are for sensitive skin, it doesn't contain parabens or perfume oils, and the cream is produced cruelty free!

Then, sold at Walgreens is the CoQ10 repair. I looked up the ingredients list of this product, it seems like a good product. Most of the ingredients are natural and they are all vegan. So cruelty free! Then the cream is not preserved with parabens and it doesn't contain perfume oils. So the cream looks like worth trying. I personally have never tried it before, so if you do please share your experience with us!

Coenzyme Q10 can also be taken through food. Beef, chicken, pork, peanuts, soy (oil) and olive (oil) seem to have the highest amount of coenzyme Q10, so upgrade your diet with these foods. Coenzyme Q10 can also protect the heart. Research has proven beneficial effects of coenzyme Q10 against cardiac diseases and is already advised as a supplement to patients with cardiac diseases.