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Month: September 2015

Oh Tedi…

Oh Tedi…

This is a pretty magical time of the year to visit Tedi. They’ve put out the Christmas stuff, but the Halloween things are still hanging around, leading to wonderfully questionable decoration choices from the employees.

Questionable Tedi Decorations

Gotta love the ghouly specters hovering over the cheery Santas and snowmen. They also have snowmen Santas with a bit of a Rastafarian vibe.

Rasta Santa

And awkward pin-up pose Santas.

Pin-Up Santa

Continuing on with their trend of cultural insensitivity, in between the Hipster Owl and Oktoberfest Goat notebooks, they also had some country themed notebooks decorated with stereotypes.

Country Notebooks
I only found Brazil, India, and Australia.

I didn’t think it was too bad until I noticed the “Holy Cow!” on the Indian notebook.

India Notebook Close Up
Oh Tedi…

Word vomit as decor seems to be a trend now, with house/family rules wall “tattoos”.

As well as these napkins, whose makers really need to hire a proofreader.

Word Vomit Napkin

Crustaceans? Fresh Fish? Is this a list of pretty beach things or a menu?

Word Vomit Napkin

Don’t worry about us, we’re just sharing lifes while cocooning in our haven of peace.


This store is just so entertaining, and I didn’t even buy anything! (I wanted to, but their card reader was down.)

My View on Trends

My View on Trends

Due to varying factors, today’s post is going to be a bit more “philosophical” and talk about my view on trends in beauty and fashion.

Now, I mostly focus on makeup and occasionally accessories here because I don’t consider myself particularly fashionable. I try to put together outfits, but I don’t really think that I have a style.

When I was a teenager, I felt that I was above trends. I thought they were fleeting and stupid and I didn’t give them a try. Then skinny jeans happened, and after resisting for a year or two, I finally tried on a pair and realized that some trends might actually suit me.

Except culottes. They were stupid in 2005 and are stupid now.
Photo Source: Target

I think the willingness to try out trends and give an honest look at how they suit me. has helped me have a lot more fun with makeup and fashion. For a recent example, I was watching Zebrena’s (from Macshadowcombos) Fall Trends video and she talked about placing blush mostly on the side of the face. I usually avoided doing this because it seemed really 80s, but it looked good on her, so I decided to give it a shot. It turns out that placing the blush in that way suits my face nicely. 19-year-old me would have dismissed it as being too 80s and never given it a shot.

That doesn’t mean that I’m advocating wearing all of the the trends, just keeping an open mind about them and being willing to try them out.

Like every Fall/Winter, it seems, dark lipsticks are back in again. And while they usually scare me, I’ve been building some confidence to wear them out in public more. Shout out to Izzy from Qthee who always looks fabulous with dark lipstick and gives me courage to try the same.

Dark Lipstick Selfie
Sorry for the crazy face and the rambly post. It’s been a weird week.

So my advice: Try out a few new things that look interesting to you! You might actually like them, even if you usually hate trends.


e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color – My Multiples

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color – My Multiples

Continuing on in My Multiples series, I decided to choose a product that I have a ton of, but that is a little more hit or miss – the e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Colors. I personally love e.l.f., but I did have a tendency to over-purchase, because their products are so inexpensive and they usually have some deal or another with free shipping. I wouldn’t necessarily mind a few duds, because overall, I would still be getting a good deal. I don’t order much from them anymore because their selection in Germany is super limited. I will pick up a few products in store whenever I’m in the US, but I still haven’t committed to making a bulk order again like I have in the past.

Anyway, enough about my relationship with e.l.f., let’s talk about the Studio Matte Lip Colors. I’ve got four shades, Natural, Coral, Praline, and Tea Rose, and I’m pretty sure I bought them all in my quest for a decent matte nude shade. I’m quite pale, so I have a problem finding nudes that don’t wash me out. A few of the colors I like, and a few I think don’t suit me at all, but somehow I still have them and even brought all of them over with me when I moved across the Atlantic.

I like the texture of them, I find them matte but not awfully drying. They go on fairly opaque and I think last pretty well. If you have dry lips, you might notice them clinging to dry patches, but that’s pretty common in my experience with mattes. Drink tons of water and exfoliate – which I also need to do more often! One point of note, they have a sweet taste, which is kind of weird. I can’t really identify it as anything in particular, just a little sweet. If you aren’t into flavors in your lip products, you might find it a little off-putting.

Overall, I didn’t notice much of a difference in performances between the different shades, just that some colors looked good on me and some colors definitely did not.

Most Worn

Most Used e.l.f. Studio Matte LIp Color
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural and Coral

The shades that suit me the best are Natural and Coral. Natural works quite well as a nude on me. It’s got enough pink in it that it doesn’t wash me out, but, as the name suggests, it looks very natural. Maybe it wouldn’t be quite as natural on those with darker skin tones, but for pale girls like me, it does the job quite well. Coral comes off as a peachy shade on me, which I like to wear in the spring and summer. I find it similar to Wet n Wild’s MegaLast Lip Color in Just Beachy 903C, but Just Beachy has a tendency to look a bit chalky on me, while Coral does not.

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color Natural
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color Coral
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Coral

Least Worn

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose and Praline
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose and Praline

I really want to make Tea Rose work, I truly do. I think it’s a pretty color, but something about it does not go well with my coloring. I think there is a bit of purple in it, which kind of makes me look like I’m cold. Praline is just too brown and dark. I think it would be wonderful if I had a bit of a tan, but I don’t get those.  If I’m every going for a super 90s look, though, this would be great! These wear the same way as the other two however, so I feel like the formula is really consistent across the board.

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color Tea Rose
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Praline
e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Praline

I don’t think it’s a problem with the line that the colors don’t suit me, because I can easily see how they would suit people with different skin tones from mine. I’ve also noticed that they’ve added several more brighter colors since I purchased mine, which may be worth checking out as I really enjoy the formula.

*Disclaimer: None of the links in this post are affiliate links.


10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to Germany – via TakeLessons

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to Germany – via TakeLessons

This article originally appeared on Brooke Neuman is a German and Italian editor at TakeLessons, an online marketplace that connects thousands of teachers and students for local and live online language lessons.

moving to germany

Are you planning a big move to Germany? Whether you’re moving because you got a new job or you’re simply looking for an adventure, moving to Germany can be scary.

In addition to being thousands of miles away from your closest friends and family, you’re in a country where people speak an unfamiliar language and live by a completely different set of rules.

While your first reaction might be to fall into a fit of panic, there’s no need to be overwhelmed. There’s a ton of helpful and informative information available.

To help make the transition a little less daunting, we’ve interviewed several expats who’ve made the big move to Germany. Check out the helpful advice they had to share with us below:

1. Learn the Language Beforehand

moving to germany

“In Germany, German is taught German to German, unless you get a private tutor. I would advise taking a course in your own country to get a base,” says Adriana Kroeller of Changing Plate.

There are many different ways in which you can learn German, whether you choose in-person or online lessons. Whichever you choose, it’s important that you learn some basic German before your big move to help smooth the transition.

2. Everyone Rides a Bike

moving to germany

In Germany, the preferred mode of transportation is biking. In fact, Germany ranked amongst the top five EU countries where people cycle most, according to a survey. When asked what mode of transportation they use most often, 8% of the 27,000 people surveyed in the 28 EU Member States answered ‘bicycle.’

Each town, city, and state has different laws concerning bicycles, and laws are strictly enforced. So before moving to Germany, it’s might be a good idea to brush up on the biking laws in the area in which you’ll be moving.

3. Most German Stereotypes Aren’t True

moving to germany

“Despite their reputations for being cold, Germans are usually very helpful. You just have to ask.  I was very shy when I first arrived, and I think that made things much more difficult,” says Jennifer of American Faultier.

While Germans aren’t ones for small-talk, they are actually quite friendly and willing to help. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask questions—no matter how mundane they may seem.

4. Kiss Your Sunday Routine Goodbye

moving to germany

In the U.S., people will spend their Sundays checking off the many tasks on their to-do lists, such as mowing the lawn, vacuuming the house, and going grocery shopping.

In Germany, Sundays are Ruhetag or “day of rest.” Neighbors are expected to keep quiet and all grocery and other retail stores are closed with the exception of churches, Biergartens, and gas stations.

5. Learning German Isn’t as Easy as You Think

moving to germany

“I think the one thing that would’ve saved me a lot of tears and frustration is if I had realized that stumbling your way through basic social interactions in German is an expat rite of passage. Fluency will take a lot longer than you think,” says Caitlin Travis of Life as an Auslander.

“In my experience, Germans know how hard their language is and they’re more than happy to slow down, listen patiently, and help you fix all your grammatical mistakes. They appreciate your effort.”

6. Start Your Search for Accommodations Early

moving to germany

It can be difficult to find inexpensive accommodations throughout Germany, especially in the major cities like Munich.

“There are lots of things that surprised me about moving to Munich, for one it’s not at all easy to find somewhere to live, it can take months.  If you are moving here with a company life’s a lot easier if you find a relocation agent beforehand,” said Emma of A Bavarian Sojourn.

“Munich is popular for a reason, it’s a great place to work, but even better to live.  Where else can you find a city with so much on its doorstep?”

So, before moving to Germany it’s important to start your search early on. If you want to be extra cautious, you might even want to find accommodation before you arrive in Germany.

7. Germans Can Be Very Direct

moving to germany

“There are tons of things I wish I knew before I moved to Germany. The biggest, however, would have to be researching a bit more about Germans themselves. There are a lot of ways Germans carry themselves and act, which for me was a bit shocking in the beginning. For example, almost all Germans are very direct when speaking with or about something/someone,” said Derek of The Migrant Expats.

“See we Americans are raised in a culture filled with sugar-coated statements that only hint at the truth, especially when talking about something we dislike. The Germans are the complete opposite. This isn’t to say Germans are intentionally mean. Rather quite the contrary. Being unabashedly direct is considered polite and is just a cultural difference. I still find myself getting offended every now and again, but honestly, I’ve gotten used to it…for the most part.”

 8. Germans Take Recycling Very Seriously

moving to germany

Germany is Europe’s leader in all things green. Residents are very vigilant about recycling their trash—so much so that they might give you a dirty look if they catch you placing a plastic bottle in the wrong bin.

There are tons of recycling rules that can be confusing for newbie recyclers to understand. So be sure to acquaint yourself with the all of the guidelines. And when in doubt, just ask your next door neighbor!

9. The Paperwork

moving to germany

“I wish I’d known more about the bureaucratic process that one needs to follow upon moving to Germany. I naively thought that once my visa was approved, that’s all I’d need to do. I had no clue about having to register your address with the bürgeramt to get the official paper that allows you to open a bank account, get a cell phone contract etc.,” said Cheryl Howard of

“I’d recommend that anyone who’s moving to Germany read up in advance on how to go about doing this. It may seem overwhelming if you don’t know any German, but that’s why learning German before you get here comes in handy.”

10. Germans Are Proud of Their Culture

moving to germany

Whether they’re from Munich, Berlin, or Hamburg, Germans are extremely proud of what region they come from and uphold long-time traditions.

“What’s one last thing you should know that I perhaps love about this area the most?  How proud Bavarians are of their traditions, much more so than we Brits,” said Emma.

“Here everything is celebrated from bringing the cows down from the mountains at the end of the summer, the bier, the harvests, spring, and of course the glorious Christmas markets. And a lot of the time they dress up to celebrate – tracht isn’t just worn for Oktoberfest!”

Moving to Germany–or any foreign country–can be extremely stressful. Follow the advice above to help make your move less strenuous and more enjoyable.

Have you moved to Germany? If so, share your best advice for moving to Germany below.


Three Ways to Wear Red Lipstick

Three Ways to Wear Red Lipstick

I think that, for a lot of people, red lipstick can be pretty intimidating. But now that it’s fall, it is in the trends. Not at all a surprise that dark and red lipstick is a trend for fall, but for those who haven’t had the confidence to try something bold yet, maybe all the pretty pictures on instagram can push you to give it a shot. There are a few ways to wear red lipstick, so if you aren’t sure what to do, there are a few things you can try.

The Basic

Basic Red Lipstick

Just rock the lipstick how it is without any fear. I would suggest a either a matching or clear lipliner to help keep the lipstick in place – I’ve noticed that red lipstick in particular tries to escape. You bought whatever shade you have because you liked it. Remember that and give it a try!

For this look (and the others), I used the Manhattan X-treme Last & Shine in 54V – it’s more of a deeper brick red that I think can be a little easier to pull off than a very bright red. Looking at their website, it appears that Manhattan doesn’t make this product anymore, which is a shame. I really like the consistency and wear of this lipstick. I prefer drier formulas when working with darker colors, as they are less likely to migrate around my face. This lipstick is thick and “dry” without sucking the moisture out of my lips.

Manhattan Red Lipstick and Essence Transparent Liner
Manhattan X-treme Last & Shine 54V, essence lipliner 13 Transparent

Sheer It Out

Sheer Red Lipstick

Okay, you tried to wear it and it scared you a little. It’s fine, let’s try some baby steps. You can turn your intense red into something softer. Start with a lip balm to help the lipstick apply evenly and then lightly dab it onto your lips, don’t swipe like you would normally do. If needed, use your finger to blend things in a bit more and if you went a little overboard, use a tissue to blot off the excess. This trick also works great with deeper shades like plum or burgundy.

Manhattan Red Lipstick and eos Lip Balm
Manhattan X-treme Last & Shine 54V, eos Lip Balm Strawberry Sorbet

Vamp It Up

Vampy Red Lipstick

For those of you who want to take the red lipstick to the next level, instead of toning it down, try pairing it with a darker lipliner. Instead of filling in your lips completely with the liner, use it to create an ombre look and say hello to fall! This is the look that, personally, I love, but I am the least comfortable with. I’m very pale, so a dark red lipstick like this really makes a statement. I’m never sure if it looks chic or just makes me look like I’m ready for Halloween. But it is a way to wear to wear red lipstick and it looks fabulous on a lot of people.

Manhattan Red Lipstick and essence lipliner
Manhattan X-treme Last & Shine 54V, essence lipliner 05 Soft Berry

How do you like to wear your red lipstick?


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