hey beautiful

the style avenue

The past holiday season had kick-ass lady and entrepreneur Liesbeth organize a very cool Instagram event: the Christmas Countdown. The goal was for Belgian entrepreneurs alike to connect and be part of the coolest giveaway ever. I participated myself both as a contestant and as entrepreneur (photographer) (already looking forward to shooting newlyweds Tine and Pieter this fall).

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burberry beauty

Since this blog can’t be classified as a beauty blog and I don’t feature that much make-up on here, I guess it might come as a surprise that I’m actually a true beauty addict. There were times when I had an abundance of make-up in my drawers and I used to buy almost everything, being a sucker for packaging.

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fin du jour

When deciding on where to shop, I always opt for either Ghent or Antwerp. Needless to say, any new addition to the present shops is more than welcome, especially when their offer is rather remarkable. New (web)shop Fin du Jour in Ghent is no exception here. Situated in a neighbourhood that is hip and happening, it will be one of my must-visit spots whenever I visit Ghent.

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happy nails x the public image

Happy Nails
Happy Nails

Unless you’ve spent the last year on a deserted island, you must have realized by now that nail art is hot and happening.

I admit, I wasn’t a fan at first and I’m still not into applying nail art to all ten nails at the same time, but I love a subtle accent here and there.

I’m not gonna lie, I have a thing for people who are chasing their dreams and even more when they succeed in it. Enter Elfi De Bruyn, whom I most definitely could give another alias to go by: the queen of nail art perhaps? Just check her blog, Facebook or Instagram account and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

She published her first book last year, Happy Nails, which not only covers a bunch of nail art projects, but also talks about taking care of your hands and feet and offers multiple diy tricks. I got myself a copy over the Christmas holidays and I sure took a cue from the queen of nail art.
Elfi is in for a rollercoaster ride this year as well with her title being published in different languages and the long-awaited Happy Nails 2 to be released this fall.

Being a busy bee the lady prepared a cool event next weekend (February 15th & 16th) in collaboration with Antwerp-based concept store The Public Image: the first pop-up nailbar to hit Antwerp.
Elfi will be around to pimp your nails for a small fee and if you aren’t very creative yourself, don’t worry: a custom nail menu will be available.

Spots are limited though next weekend, so make sure you reserve yours via nele(@)thepublicimage.be.

Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch at The Hotel, Brussels

Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch
Estée Lauder x It-Girl fashion lunch

Somewhere in the summer of 2013 (on a totally unrelated note: seems like ages ago!) the lovely Kim of leading Belgian blog It-Girl hosted a give-away in collaboration with the people of Estée Lauder and The Hotel in Brussels.

They were looking for a test panel of four women who would use the newly launched Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (ANRII) during a month. Guess what? I was one of the lucky gals being able to test this bottle of miracles.

While an initial meet-up of the test panel got cancelled, we eventually met up for a so-called fashion lunch at the end of November with the wonderful Dominique of Estée Lauder and Kim herself. Location? The Restaurant by Pierre Balthazar at luxury hotel The Hotel in Brussels.

During the two-hour lunch we shared our experiences with ANRII and had a wonderful time catching up, while being served the most delicious food.

At the end of the lunch all four of us received an Estée Lauder goodie bag with top notch Estée Lauder make-up products.

I wasn’t familiar with Estée Lauder up until joining the test panel and must say I’m really impressed with the ANRII and with their make-up. I am of course not a beauty blogger, nor do I intend to become one, but I might perhaps dedicate a separate review to ANRII, combined with my daily skin care routine.

As for the location, it couldn’t be more perfect. The luxury feel when you enter the lobby of The Hotel, the decor,… I would definitely recommend The Restaurant as a lunch spot when shopping in the Avenue Louise area in Brussels and from what I’ve heard: spending the night at The Hotel isn’t too shabby either (honey, if you’re reading this…).

A big thank you to It-Girl, Estée Lauder and The Hotel for a wonderful experience.

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle corrector

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A couple of weeks ago I filled out yet another survey by The Insiders as they needed 400 people to test the Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle corrector.
I was happy to receive an e-mail not that much later telling me that I was one of the people selected to review this product.

It’s basically a lightweight, hydrating eye cream that promises to banish dark circles, offering immediate brightening around the eye using the Translucent Optics Technology. The sheer-tinted formula visibly reduces dark circles by 30% in 12 weeks. Applying the eye cream is a breeze using the cooling massage tip.

I’ve been testing it for a couple of days now and will write a full review in due time. I still have a couple of samples left, if you want to try it for yourself, just leave a comment on this post.

Beauty queen? Me?

This week I’m participating in #wijvenweek. No, you’re not looking at some newly invented word, it’s plain Dutch and means so much as ‘chick week’. Chick week, you say? That’s right, this week the blog will be as girly as it can be, so be prepared for an overdose of girl, chick, lady, whatever stuff.

We’re starting off with the first theme: ‘beauty queen deep within’.

I don’t like to call myself a beauty queen, yet my bathroom drawers (yes, that was drawers, not drawer) tend to prove me wrong. I own a lot of nail polish, I just noticed when I tried to move my stash one night and it just didn’t fit into my beauty case. Mind you, we’re just talking about the nail polish…

I will never ever leave the house without make-up. That’s a no-go. My daily routine consists of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer, Bobbi Brown eye cream, Urban Decay Surreal Skin, Nars blush, Benefit high brow (when I’m wearing my glasses), some eyeliner pencil and mascara. On weekend days, I also use eye shadow and a pretty foundation. I try to go make-up free once a week, though, presuming I don’t have to leave the house that day.

When I come to think of it, there might be a bit of a beauty queen deep inside me. Now, time to browse sephora.fr one more time, huh?

(Karl Lagerfeld for) Sephora

Good old Karl Lagerfeld recently joined forces with French cosmetics store Sephora. The capsule collection ranges from an eyeshadow palette, where each shade is shaped like Karl, to nail polish (in gold & black).

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I’m a loyal Sephora customer ever since I discovered the store in Paris. I can’t even remember how long ago it was, so go figure. Up until now, the only downside was that their online store didn’t ship to Belgium. However, they recently started shipping to Belgium so I just had to order some Karl goodies. I picked the small cosmetic case and the nail polish set in black & gold. When ordering through their online store, it’s possible to select three samples & gift wrapping is free. Delivery is fast as I ordered on a Sunday night and my package was delivered on my doorstep by the next Tuesday.

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NOTD – Lemon Ice Cream by Barry M

I had been looking for a yellow hue nail polish for a while until I stumbled upon this Lemon Ice Cream nail paint by Barry M while in London last month.

I must admit, it is near perfection, exactly the kind of yellow I was hoping to find. The brush is rather good, nothing compared to O.P.I. of course, but if I have to compare it to one cosmetics brand, I would compare it to Catrice (which is one of my favorite budget brands).

I used two layers to achieve the yellow in the photo below. Keep in mind that I was wearing this color for the third day in a row in the photo and didn’t use a top coat. Considering it cost me only £2.99, I’m a happy customer!

I bought this nail paint at Topshop in London, but you can also buy it online here.