Heading For Sustainability

IMG_3307I’m back again. With lots of ideas in my head but without any photos. I actually had trouble finding a nice header photo for this post. This blog is called pics and phrases, because I wanted to offer lots of pretty pictures along with lots of reflective words. But I seem to lack creativity and time to capture the moments that are worth showing on a blog like this. Besides, my attitude towards blogging has changed a lot this summer, which is one reason why my blog has remained silent.

The first point is – and I’m still struggling with it – that I decided to not any longer buy clothes that have been produced under „unfair“ conditions. I didn’t watch a documentary report or read a specific blog post at that time. It was just one totally normal day in May (I had just placed a big Zalando order including things I didn’t actually need) when it occurred to me that this wasn’t the right thing to do anymore. Out of the blue. And that was it.

The following four weeks I didn’t buy anything at all. I unfollowed blogs and instagram accounts I had liked so very much. Then I placed an Armed Angels order – and I loved it. But then came the hot days of summer and the pretty off shoulder shirts and all the pretty girls showing them on their pretty blogs (which of course I was browsing in spite of having unfollowed them) and I wanted to have one so badly! So I walked into a Zara store and bought one. It is pretty. But it has been made in India, probably by a woman who is struggling to feed her children with the wage she gets for sewing clothes and who is suffering from very bad health conditions. I still like that shirt but I immediately felt bad the moment I walked out of that Zara store.

Then came fall and I noticed that I needed some basic longsleeves and I only had one thought: I would buy those from ecologically and ethically friendly stores. So I ordered a simple grey shirt from People Tree. And I loved it. (You get it, the story repeats.)

Current situation: I accepted that only by unfollowing „conventional“ blogs and searching for „eco“ blogs like DariaDaria and Bienfaire I would not contribute to the success of my eco plan. So I started follow the girls from The Daily Dose again, which has been my favourite blog since it was founded in 2013. And I am still buying Zara clothes from time to time, but I only buy such clothes that are currently not available in the eco stores I know or that are too expensive for me but that I really do need right now (like a new blazer I needed for the presentation of a University project) AND I do only buy these clothes if they’re produced in Europe – that’s Spain, Portugal or Turkey. I can’t say anything about the working and environmental conditions in these countries but I bet they are way better than down in India or Bangladesh. On the other hand, I ordered this shirt today and I’m so looking forward to having it delivered in November. My eco wardrobe is improving :) moreover, I watched Cowspiracy and The True Cost, which persuaded me even more to stay away from unethical goods.

Alltoghether, I unfollowed a lot of blogs and instagram accounts that I didn’t see any use in and started following lots of sustainability accounts (mainly on instagram) and I love scrolling through my instagram feed and spotting pictures of pretty sustainable fashion (Wakened Apparel), cute animals (Edgar’s Mission) but still some outfit inspiration by The Daily Dose. Having sorted this out, I thought it was time to start blogging again myself and I decided to focus on phrases rather than pics, just because it is more convenient for me. Hopefully I’ll find the time and inspiration to shoot some sustainable things that are part of my life :) the header photo was taken on my summer vacation in denmark – I’ll probably do a post about that next!

Rose Golden Brush Set by Zoeva

Big big love! I know I’m not the first one to present these lovelies, but how could I not show them? :) They are sooo photo worthy, beautiful, functional, … they have been on my wish list for one year now, and eventually that dream has come true.

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Left to right: Wing Liner, Petit Crease, Soft Definer IMG_2890

Left to right: Concealer Buffer, Face Shape, Sheer Cheek, Silk Finish, Powder

Notice: I’ve already been using them, before taking photos. Shame on me! As you can guess, I’m just a little impatient (not to mention that they’re actually an Easter present…). And there is one more thing to notice… I don’t know if Zoeva is cruelty free. It is not mentioned in my personal bible for cosmetics, neither on the positive nor on the negative side. But the fact that it does not belong to one of the big brands is a good thing, so I decided to give Zoeva a chance. And I’m far from disappointed. I used to apply Concealer with my fingers and never would have thought that using a concealer brush would be any better – but it is. The look is more natural and the concealer lasts longer – trust me! The face shape brush is a little too small in my opinion, but it’s still possible to use the powder brush for bronzer OR just to improve my make up skills ;) I love the brushes for the eye (they’ve been in use daily since they’ve arrived last week).

So, nothing more to mention! I’m planning to clean these new beauties more often than my old brushes and I’m thinking of ordering a second powder brush or something else for bronzer. Can you reccomend a good bronzer brush?

LOVE Running

I started running 9 years ago, the year I turned 15. It was just that „I’ve got to do some sports during the summer holidays“ feeling but acutally I didn’t stop after those holidays. It took me 7 years, however, until the idea of participating in some kind of competition came into my mind. It was our hiking trip in Scotland that really taught me how good being active outdoors feels, whatever tricks the weather might play. I started running on a regular base in fall 2013 and it definitely improved my life. Running a half marathon might be frightening to some people and it was all the same to me! I ran two times during the week, did one run on saturdays and one long distance run on sundays. Still, I didn’t feel prepared until the day of the half marathon, especially because of a cold I catched two weeks before the event which forced me to stay in bed – it was impossible to think about running. What maintained my motivation was that I had planned running that half marathon with my best friend. Funnily enough, there hadn’t been one single run we had done together (she lives in France) so we had no clue if our level of fitness was comparable. But it was! The day of the half marathon was one of the best days in 2014. The 6th of April was a sunny, slightly warm day and Freiburg is the best city you can think about to run a first half marathon. There are bands playing music at every corner and people cheering on every bit of the 21 kilometers. My friend and I ran without monitoring the time, our speed or our heart rate and it was just perfect. We finished the 21 kilometers in 2:06 h, which meant a steady pace of 6 min/km and we both didn’t feel exhausted at all! I think we couldn’t stop smirking all day long… ;)

As you can imagine, this great event won’t be my only experience with running a half marathon. I will be participating in Berlin’s Vattenfall half marathon at the 29th of march and I’m so looking forward to it! It’s nothing like last year when I didn’t have a clue of what would await me in the competition. I’m as motivated as never before, I’m running five times a week, despite every kind of weather, at all times of the day and I’m simply loving it. It’s 7.5 weeks to go and my only wish is that I do not lose my motivation and that my immune system won’t let me down! The half marathon in Berlin is a special one because it’s kind of a sightseeing-by-running-tour, starting at Alexanderplatz, crossing the Brandenburger Tor and the Siegessäule, the Kurfürstendamm and Potsdamer Platz, just to mention a few. I’ve been to Berlin two times in my life, but exploring it running is new ;)

I’m running because it improves my feeling of being alive, because it’s fun and beause it forces me to be outdoors when otherwise I would be hanging on the couch all day long. Still, I have aims, because they contribute to my motivation, reasonable aims. I want to be better than last year. That’s all. Or maybe faster than two hours? …

What reliably ALWAYS contributes to my motivation are some new sport clothes – that’s obvious, isn’t it? When my workout plan started in early January, those were really, really helpful:

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The sports bras are adorable! The colours are bright and fancy and immediatly turn up my mood when I wake up to rainy weather and the thought of a morning run. I never thought that I would do that, but they look so nice that I could imagine wearing them as a sports top in summer without adding another layer.

I’m also showing you my running shoes – I currently have to pairs in use, both are from Brooks. That’s a coincidence actually, one pair is the one I ran my first half-marathon with and they are just perfect. The ones in the picture are made for short-distance runs ‚cause their shape makes you run faster intuitively. They proof indeed that I’m not lying about the weather and my mood: see how dirty they are!

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ACNE and thoughts about fairtrade

Don’t think that I have the money to buy high prized clothing only. I’m a student! But sometimes, especially after Christmas or my birthday, I have some money left, and this scarf is definitely worth paying 130 € for. Some years ago I  owned tons of scarves I didn’t actually wear and I ended up sorting my clothes out, owning some basics, adding some cool stuff and investing in some high quality pieces – like these scarves. I bought the first one in January and have loved it ever since then. I also wore it in summer as a cape over a tee when it got a little chilly in the evenings. I knew from the beginning that I wanted another one of these beauties! So the grey one it is and it’s as perfect as it can be. The dark wine coloured scarf is a bit tricky to combine in an all-pastel and light coloured outfit, but the grey one is just perfect for that! Not to mention how perfectly it matches the current colour of the sky…

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What do you think of them? :)

To be honest, I haven’t found the time and motivation to do research about fairtrade clothing. I’m even more glad about DariaDaria where you can find a great list (click) of shops that sell 100 % fair clothing. Due to my current budget and craving for clothes, I won’t say that I’ll shop these brands exclusively from now on, but when it comes to special items that are worth investing some money, these will be on my radar in the first place! I’m speaking of accessoires like bags and scarves mostly but also about the ONE perfect cashmere sweater (I do not own one) or THE perfect pair of high quality jeans.  I’m building up a well ordered wardrobe at the moment, which includes items like the ones mentioned, but it also includes some items that I do not own for now (a classic white blouse, one more pair of all black skinnies, some comfy loafers for spring/summer, just to mention a few). My budget doesn’t allow buying all those stuff fairtrade, so I will still go for Zara and H&M but I’m planning to change this once I’m in the state of having a fixed job and salary.
I’ve already written a post about animal-testing-free cosmetics, in case you’re interested! :)

Make Up Essentials

About two years ago I started reading fashion and beauty blogs. My all time favourite is The Daily Dose, but this isn’t where I’ve learnt most of my make up skills. The truth is YouTube. I was watching the videos of Daaruum over and over, not copying any kind of style but getting inspired by the products she used. I bought my first M.A.C product which was a Paint Pot (bare study to be more precise) and stocked up with more high end make up essentials over time. As you might know from one of my posts (see here) I’m not buying M.A.C products any more but I still love Urban Decay. I started using KIKO products in summer and it turned into one of my favourite cosmetic brands ever! The products are cheap compared to high end and they are definitely of high quality. There are some essentials, however, which I decided not to buy in high end quality. Concealer and loose powder are the two products I apply more than one time a day, every day, so it would be quite expensive on the one hand and on the other I like the Alverde Loose Powder and Catrice Camouflage Cream very much! I admit that I haven’t tried lots of different loose powders, but I’ve tried a bunch of Camouflages and Concealers and decided that the Catrice version works best for me. Check out the pictures for my favourite everyday essentials :)

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The pictures are also showing the way I store my beauty essentials. These are the products I use everday or at least regularly. I have one box under the dressing table where I store products that I use from time to time but not regularly. Some might say that this is boring, but I actually use nearly the same products every day because I tend to style a quite natural look for everday life (which doesn’t mean that it takes me less than 15 minutes in the morning! ;)) When it comes to nighttime and going out, I let the eye liner be a little bolder, the bronzer a little darker and the conture in the crease more defined. For daytime I apply a light reflecting concealer under the eyes (Kiko Soft Focus Concealer) and a little more covering version for spots (Catrice Camouflage Cream). Liquid foundation is a little to heavy for my skin so I use no foundation at all or a BB/CC cream or compact powder (Kiko Compact Powder) to give my skin a touch of colour, especially in winter. Because I feel like Bronzer is too dark for conturing my cheek bones, I replaced the Bronzer by a darker shade of loose powder and apply M.A.C Sculpting Cream to highlight the area above the cheekbones and over the eyebrow. A soft pink blush is just perfect to intensify the colour of my cheeks. Can anyone recommend an alternative for the M.A.C Paint Pots? They’re not even close to empty but I use them every day as an eye shadow base and alternate between bare study and soft ochre. A layer of light eye shadow (Urban Decay Foxy or W.O.S) comes before the conturing of the crease. I choose brown or grey shades most of the time and I love M.A.C ‚Club‘ for the night. My best friend is the small Urban Decay Naked Basics palette which is so useful and easy to carry. I use all the shades with regularity and I love them all. I even found one shade for my brows in that lovely eye shadow palette.  The black eye shadow (Crave) is used as a replacement for liquid/gel eye liner ‚cause I think that those are too heavy for daytime. Mascara, next to concealer, is my must have and also among the ‚I buy more than two a year‘ products. I truly tried plenty, but my favourite and animal-testing free Mascara is… can anyone guess? Yes, from Kiko!

How are you storing your make up and which essentials do you need for every day?