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Travel

Copenhagen

These are the last pictures from our honeymoon in April. We didn’t take quite as many pictures in Copenhagen as in the other cities because it rained two out of the three days we were there. But, we did manage to get a few nice ones from around town and in Tivoli, an adorable amusement park I highly recommend visiting!

Here we go, enjoy!

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Travel

Rome

Finally, after only seven weeks, I’m done going through all our pictures from Rome. In my defense, we took over 500 photos in Rome alone, and about 1200 in total. Also in my defense, what I thought was dust on our lens turned out to be dust on our camera’s sensor, so no matter how much we cleaned the lens, every single picture had about 30 dust specks scattered throughout, and painstakingly ‘shopping them out was, well, awful and very time consuming.

Enough about that, though. I definitely recommend visiting Rome if you get the chance. If we had stayed for a month, I’m sure we still wouldn’t have seen half of all there is to see in the city. Highlights for me were climbing to the very tip top of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Musei Capitolini, and the Colosseum (we actually stayed four blocks from the Colosseum, it was amazing!) I hope you enjoy these photos!

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Skincare

Skincare talk – acne, retinoids, and lizard skin

Last fall, I finally went to a dermatologist for the first time. I’ve had acne since I was 10, and I was at my breaking point. She prescribed me Clindamycin, a topical antibiotic, and Epiduo Gel, a benzoyl peroxide/adapalene (a retinoid) combo. I left her office hopeful that maybe, for the first time since before puberty, I might have smooth, clear skin. Sadly, after about five days, the Clindamycin broke me out in tiny whiteheads all over my entire face. I used the Epiduo a few times, but since she told me to only use the Epiduo once a week, I saw no results, and I stopped. I did continue to use CeraVe in the tub, which she advised me to use to combat my dry skin.

Unfortunately, my skin has not only not improved, but it’s slowly been getting worse. I regularly have about a dozen closed comedones around my jawline at any time, as well as acne on both cheeks. The dermatologist I saw in fall had no availability when I wanted to make another appointment recently, so I found someone else thinking that maybe a second opinion was a good thing. The first thing the new doctor told me was to stop using CeraVe in the tub on my face. According to him, it’s too thick and can exacerbate clogged pores in people who are already acne prone. Instead, he told me to use CeraVe PM, which is actually made for the face. When I told him that Epiduo didn’t do anything for me, he told me that I should still use something with benzoyl peroxide daily because it’s one of the best things for acne. So, I picked up Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask on his recommendation. I was skeptical the first time I tried it because it has a pretty strong, but pleasant fragrance, but so far, so good.

He also prescribed me Tretinoin, a retinoid. I’m definitely not a skincare expert, but from what I’ve gathered, retinoids help your skin shed its cells with more regularity so you don’t get clogged pores or hair follicles. Retinoids can also help with wrinkles and other signs of aging. While they’re great for treating acne in general, they also come with their fair share of side effects, which I’ve been experience first hand these past two weeks! The first four to five days, I saw no side effects, good or bad, and then the dry skin started. It’s been especially bad around my mouth. At the end of the day, I’ll literally have bits of skin hanging off my face, it’s delightful, let me tell you! Many people also experience a purging phase, where all the acne that has been waiting under the skin comes to the surface all at once. I’ve been reading quite a bit on retinoids, especially Tretinoin, and most people seem to see results after 6-12 weeks, which is on par with what the dermatologist told me. So far, I’ve been trying to take pictures every week to see if I can see any improvements, and I’ll be sure to do an update post from time to time.

Other than the new cleanser and prescription, I still use a few of my old standbys. I’m back to using Trader Joe’s Jojoba Oil to remove my makeup. I was using the Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil, but I found it really wasn’t any better than the jojoba oil while being about quadruple the price. After the CeraVe PM, I’ve been using Vaseline to desperately try to combat the lizard skin. In the morning, I use CeraVe SPF 30 Sunscreen, and then continue with my makeup as usual. Another lovely side effect of the Tretinoin is that every product stings when I put it on now, especially around my eyes. I haven’t noticed any redness, and the stinging goes away after about 30 seconds, so I’m not too worried.

I’d love to know if any of you have used retinoids and what your experiences were!

Beauty, Makeup

Mini European Makeup Haul

As soon as I knew I was going to Europe for my honeymoon, I started making a mental list of all the products I wanted to pick up during the trip. There were two brands I absolutely had to check out: Bourjois and Kiko. While it is possible to get Bourjois in the US through Asos and Amazon and probably other sites, I wanted to check out the products in store. And waiting years and years to finally get my hands on them made it all the more exciting :). Lucky for me, there was a Bourjois sale going on in Boots, so I picked up two foundations and two lip products. Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation is probably the most universally-loved foundation I’ve heard raved about by UK beauty bloggers since I started getting into makeup, so that was a no-brainer. I also picked up the Healthy Mix Serum Foundation. The lip products I picked out were both from the Rouge Edition Velvet range. After quite a bit of indecision, I chose #11 So Hap’pink and #03 Hot Pepper. I had also heard lots of great things about these, especially Hot Pepper. Unfortunately, I haven’t been impressed by them so far. They are so crazy slippery on my lips! They also pretty much disappear after eating or drinking. Do you have any tips for getting the most out of these because I’m just not feeling them.

I also went all over London stopping into every Superdrug I saw to look for Tanya Burr’s lip glosses. These must still be super popular because they were completely out of stock everywhere except for one lonely little tube in Afternoon Tea. While the formula seems really nice, the color is lighter than I normally go for. I also wanted to pick up some things from the Zoella Beauty range, but I couldn’t take the body spray or lotion with me since we were only traveling with hand luggage. At least these ranges are available on Feel Unique if I ever feel like I HAVE to have them.

I had lots of fun perusing the Kiko shop in Venice. They have so many lipsticks it’s insane. In the end, I went for something completely unique – the Long Lasting Colour Lip Marker in 103 Peach Red. This is just what it sounds like, a marker for your lips. While I was excited to try it, it was a bit of a let down. It’s a very thin, watery consistency that goes on pretty streaky. It does last forever though. I think the swatches from testing it in store lasted three entire days. I also picked up a pretty eyeshadow quad. The Color Fever Eyeshadow Palette in 100 Unexpected Rosy Taupe is made up of three shimmery purples and a shimmery champagne. The formula isn’t up there with the likes of Urban Decay, but it’s still very impressive for the price. I also picked up a Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06 Golden Brown, which is a really nice bronzy gold. I was happy with the color and staying power when I wore it the first time the other day. The last item I picked up was the Crystal Eyeliner in 03 Reflect Burgundy. This eyeliner is so insanely beautiful. I haven’t used it yet, but I really hope the formula lives up to the color.

I’m pretty happy with the makeup I picked up. While I wish I had been able to get a few more things, I was limited by the weight of our hand luggage, and all the souvenirs and gifts we got were already becoming really heavy within the first several days of the two week trip. There’s always next time though. Europe, I WILL be back!

Travel

Ah, Venice

Ah, Venice.

Venice was by far my favorite stop on our honeymoon. I would go back tomorrow if I could. It’s like being in a big, beautiful, mysterious, romantic maze with hundreds and hundreds of quaint little bridges everywhere you look. My husband and I spent our three days there wandering around aimlessly, stumbling upon bizarrely beautiful little scenes you could only see in Venice (a gondola traffic jam, for one), and eating an endless supply of gelato. Everything is stunning-the canals, the bridges, the basilicas. I haven’t really traveled extensively (yet), but I know it’s going to be a long time before a new city lives up to Venice for me.

Enough of my gushing descriptions. I’ll let these pictures speak for themselves.

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Travel

London!

Hello! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Between taking a graphic design class February through the first two weeks of April, and then going on an amazing honeymoon in Europe the second half of April, I’ve had a lot going on. I was also having an inner crisis about blogging, which I may or may not go into at some point in the future.

Anyway, I wanted to share some pictures of the places I visited on my honeymoon because why not?! I saw so many beautiful and interesting things, and I can’t wait to go back!

First up: London! I’ve wanted to go to London for years. I don’t even really know why, I just have, and I’m happy to say it was beyond lovely! We were even spared the typical gloomy weather. Here’s a small selection of photos…

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