An American Tale Part 2: Autumn in Ann Arbor

autumn fall ann arbor thanksgiving pumpkins

It’s the beginning of December, Thanksgiving is behind us and so is Fall, a season I never thought I would love so much as this year. If you are new around here you can catch up on our American Tale here. Since our last post, a lot has happened among which we moved into our new apartment, I got into photography and took a course. So this post is going to be long and filled with images. I hope you enjoy this small throwback to our Autumn in Ann Arbor.

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Thanksgiving Makeup tutorial – #NotSmallForever Collaboration

thanksgiving makeup tutorial pumpkin spice collab

Happy Sunday! Today’s video is a collaboration with some lovely girls I met on the Beauty and the Vlog Facebook Group (here). We decided to all share our makeup looks, recipes and memories inspired by the holiday of Thanksgiving and pumpkin spices. As you have read last week, I am obsessed with pumpkin spices and shared my favorite recipes in this post here. This week I’ll share a Thanksgiving makeup tutorial that you can wear for the holidays next week. Some fall colors, some glitter and an orangey lip are my idea of a Thanksgiving makeup look.

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Fall Daytime Makeup – #FallInLoveTAG2 Ep.2 – Umbrella

fall daytime makeup #fallinlovetag2 colourpop

Welcome back to another episode of the #FallInLoveTAG2. If you missed episode 1 you can find it here, and if you want to join us, go check out the introduction post by Caffelatte For Breakfast here. The theme this time is Umbrella, your trusted friend on rainy fall days. Since this is a beauty blog, we will talk about those makeup products that are my trusted allies and I wear on a daily basis: this is my Fall daytime makeup routine.

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Fall Favorites – #FallInLoveTag2 Ep.1 – Evergreen

As usually I’m late for the bus, but here is my first installment of the #FallInLoveTAG2 (intro here), created by the lovely Marta from Caffe Latte For Breakfast. I’m so happy to join this year as well (read last year’s posts here), because I love Fall and I love the prompts that Marta comes up with! Well the first episode of this year’s tag is Evergreen: we’re talking about our Fall favorites when it comes to makeup and fashion. We’re talking about the pieces that you can’t live without for the season. Let’s get into it!

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Fall In Love Tag #3: Halloween Harley Quinn makeup

“Anyone who throws boomerangs has some real issues letting go” – Harley Quinn

Third episode of the Fall in Love Tag and we’re talking about Halloween of course! The most fun holiday of the year, at least regarding makeup. It gives me an excuse to wear black lipstick and dark red smokey eyes and release my inner gothic self. In this tag we are asked to describe our Halloween traditions and scary stories, I don’t have anything scary to tell but I have my own little tradition.

For the past three years every Halloween I have been on stage with my band Whatever Alice Said, rocking out at the Boekend Rocknight. There isn’t much Halloween-y about it and nobody wears a costume, but the music is good and loud, everyone wears black and it’s a hell of a party! For my own makeup, I am allowed to go all out with dark smokey eyes and dark lipsticks because that’s what I love to wear on stage. I have shown a few modifications of the same look here and here so this year I wanted to attempt something closer to a costume.

“Don’t worry! I landed on my head!”
I decided to attempt a Harley Quinn makeup, inspired by the villain in the Batman comics who always had this creepy grin and was good friends with the Joker. There are many versions of this makeup on the web, but I found this one by Julia Graf and decided to take it as a starting point to then put my own twist to it. Red and black are my two favorite colors so I knew I wanted to do something absolutely not subtle, because why in the world would one be subtle on Halloween!
“At what point did my life go Looney Tunes? Batman is to blame!”
This look was one of my first real challenges using gel eyeliners (Inglot) as base to deliver a vibrant and saturated color that eyeshadows alone cannot give. I had to work quick before the gel liners set to buff out the edges so I would avoid harsh lines where I want gradients of color. Then I set everything with powder eyeshadow, the black from the Lorac Pro palette and the single shadow Ember from an old LE by Neve Cosmetics, which I was waiting so long to be able to use. Then blending it all out with a dark plum shade (Nabla Mimesis) for the black quadrants.
And the lines..oh gosh the lines were a nightmare. With a round face like mine it was a real nightmare to draw straight lines. The best suggestion I can give is to start by outlining the shapes lightly with a black eyeshadow and at the end go over it with a felt tip eyeliner and try to keep it as straight and thin as possible. The least the strokes, the better in this case. 
“Gee, it’s amazing the things you find in people’s glove compartments.”
Finally I lined the lips with a black pencil, filled them in with a black lipstick (Kiko Cream Lipstick 523) and dabbed some red loose pigment from Essence (anyone remember those? I am so happy I collected them before they were discontinued) in the center of the lips. Then I elongated the side of the mouth with again the same felt tip liner.
Robin: “What was she before she went bonkers?”
Batman: “A clinical psychiatrist.”
Robin: “Figures.”
Products used:

  • L’Oréal Infallible 24h Matte foundation in 200 Sand
  • Mac Blot Powder in Medium
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit in Light/Medium
  • Inglot Gel Liner n.77 (black) and n.79 (red)
  • Lorac Pro palette black eyeshadow
  • Neve Cosmetics Ember eyeshadow
  • Nabla Cosmetics Mimesis eyeshadow
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner in Black
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Eyeliner in Black
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara
  • H&M false lashes
  • Kiko gems from a very old collection I can’t remember
Brows and Lips:
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl in black (the black brow)
  • Neve Cosmetics Pastello Labbra Teatro (the red brow)
  • Kiko Creamy Lipstick in 523 Black
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner in Black
I hope you liked this look. I sure had a lot of fun doing it and making crazy faces to be in character (I know I’ll never be an actress). In the end I’m going to be my usual (or maybe more dramatic) rock chic on stage for Halloween, maybe that look will come by the blog as well if it turns out nicely.
What are you going to dress up as for Halloween? Are you attempting a makeup look?
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Fall in love Tag #2: Foliage

Oh Fall, I so dreaded your arrival and yet I’m so happy you’re here and the second appointment with the Fall in Love Tag, initiated by Marta of Caffelatte for Breakfast lets me express my love for this season’s colors. I adore the orange, brown, red leaves falling from the trees among the green grass, and the bright blue mornings when the fresh air slaps me awake during a run. Autumn you are lovely season blessed with wonderful nature that inspired this look today. I went for a walk in the woods to collect leaves and pine cones to decorate the house and I was blown away by the green, red, orange and yellows, so here is what I came up with.

  • L’Oréal Infallible 24H Matte foundation in 24 Golden Beige
  • Maybelline Fit Me concealer in 20 Sand
  • KIKO Cosmetics Full Coverage Concealer 03
  • e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting Powder
  • Make-up Studio Loose Translucent Powder
  • Sleek Makeup Face Contour Kit in Light to contour
  • MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Fairly Precious as blush
  • The Balm Mary Lou Manizer as highlighter


  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Eternal Gold
  • Nabla Cosmetics Clementine in the inner third of the lid, Peach Velvet as transition shade
  • MAC Coppering in the middle of the lid
  • MakeupGeek Cosmetics Dirty Martini in the crease
  • Wet n Wild dark green “eyelid” shade in the outer V, I depotted all my WnW palettes so I have no idea of the name, sorry
  • Zoeva Graphic Eyes in Opulence under the eye, set with Neve Cosmetics Ember
  • Kiko Super Colour Eyeliner 104
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes in Black to tightline upper and lower lashline
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara
  • Essence Half Lashes

Brows and Lips:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Auburn and Chocolate
  • Makeup Geek Bitten eyeshadow
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
  • KIKO Smart Lip Pencil in 704
  • Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Fab Orange

I used all my current favorite makeup for this look and am quite happy with the result. However, this was one of the typical occasions in which your eyeshadow look is on point and then the eyeliner fails you. I will try the scotch tape trick next time to get a sharper line. Oh and forgive my unruly hair, hihi.

I would love to hear your thoughts and critique on this look. Practice makes perfect, so keep your eyes open for the following fall inspired looks, and don’t forget to check out the #FallInLoveTAG page for more info if you want to participate to one of the installments!
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Fall In Love Tag #1: Wine

Welcome to the first installment of the Fall in love TAG by the gorgeous Marta from Caffelatte for Breakfast. Today we talk all about wine, because it’s grape harvest time and who doesn’t love wine?! I personally am not a big red wine drinker, but the color is one of my favorites and comes back in most of my makeup or clothing choices. I want to show you my favorite wine colored makeup and a look that is so me.

Let’s start with eye products. I tried to make realistic swatches of all of these but I feel the red portion of the color isn’t showing up properly, I apologize.

  • Makeup Geek Burlesque: a gorgeous matte, perfect to put in the crease;
  • Nabla Daphne n.2, I just fell in love as soon as I dipped my finger in this shadow. 
  • Nabla Grenadine, a bit more on the rosé side of wine, a beautiful red with pink shimmer.
  • Lorac Mega Pro Merlot, it’s all in the name, a deep purple-red that I don’t use nearly enough
  • Lorac Mega Pro Mulberry, a matte and lighter version of Merlot,
  • Zoeva Cream Eyeliner in Magic Moment, beautiful gel liner of a dark wine color. I keep using it even though the formula is not my favorite because of the color.

Going on to lips, I found I don’t have as many lipsticks that remind me of wine as I thought, a good excuse to go pick up MAC Fashion Revival maybe? The winners are for sure the Rimmel by Kate 107 and MAC Diva, whereas the rest tends a bit too purple maybe.
From left to right:

  • Wjcon Lipliner 09 Bordeaux Scuro 
  • Rimmel by Kate 107
  • MAC Diva
  • Maybelline ColorDrama 110 Pink So Chic
  • Maybelline ColorDrama 310 Beery Much
  • Catrice Ultimate Stay Lipliner 040 Love the way you plum

As Marta said, let’s not forget our favorite bubbly wines, prosecco and champagne. This is the color of my favorite highlighters for the eye and the cheeks:

  • Lorac Pro palette, Champagne
  • Makeup Geek ShimmaShimma
  • Kiko Water Eyeshadow 200
  • The Balm Mary Lou Manizer
  • Inglot Gel Liner n.94
  • Kiko Long Lasticng Stick Eyeshadow 07

Finally, here is the full look using the Lorac Mega Pro palette, Merlot all over the lid and Mulberry in the crease and then creating a halo effect by applying the Kiko Water Eyeshadow 200 with a wet brush in the center of the lid. On the lips I have Rimmel by Kate lipstick 107 on a base of the Wjcon lipliner in Bordeaux Scuro.
I hope you liked this post and I tag all of you fall lovers to do this tag too! You can find all the information you need in Marta’s post here.
What is your favorite wine-color product?

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Fall is here and the blog is back!

fall colors


Colder temperatures, cloudy and rainy days, yes Fall is here! After the first few days of absolute misery due to the fact that I had just come back from holidays in Greece, I dove into the new season with smokey eyes and dark lips, forgetting completely the corals, mints and such summery colors.
To say that I didn’t miss writing down here wouldn’t be true, but summer brought for me the beginning of my writing-the-phd-thesis period, locking myself at home in pijamas and not wearing much makeup at all. My life consisted mainly of sleeping-writing-eating-working out with the occasional night out very rarely. All these and a few more reasons brought me to give the blog a break.
But now we’re back! Makeup is back to being my favorite thing to do in the morning and I can’t wait to share with you guys some looks I’ve been thinking of and some products that have literaloly blown my mind lately!
I hope you’re as excited as I am for the new season and I’ll see you soon around here!
If in the meantime you want to stay in touch and nose around, I post daily on Instagram and Facebook a mixture of makeup, food and fitness, which are my big joys in life!
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The Fall Blush Edit: my top 5 most used

Long gone is our summer glow and welcome candid skin. Every year losing my tan makes me quite unhappy, and although I have been known to use the occasional tinting lotion, this year I decided to embrace the mozzarella inside me. One of the positive notes is that I have infuse some healthy color using typically autumnal blushes. Here are my 5 most used blushes in these cold months. 

The colors range from darker reds to mauve and rosy pinks. Whereas in summer shimmer is a big no-no for me since I got my own shine going on with my oily skin, in winter I like adding a sheen on my cheeks and here come out a few blushes with some shimmer as well. So let’s check them out.

  • Essence Silky Touch Blush in 070 Kissable (2.59€ here and at the drugstore): this is a mid tone rose color with a golden shimmer that really warms up the complexion.
  • Kiko Soft Touch Blush in 107 Tomato (7.50€ here): this matte formula is super pigmented and needs a light hand, but it gives the most beautiful red-but-pink flush. You can see it in action here and here.
  • NYX blush in Dusty Rose (6.99€ here): the newcomer, is the satin peachy-pink one that reminds you of summer but has the darker rose tone in there that brings it on strong for fall.
  • E.L.F. Cosmetics Studio Blush in Blushing Rose (4.00€ here): is the darker and more mauvy of these but has a beautiful golden satin sheen, not shimmer.
  • Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar (12.99€ here): this is a triple threat and contains three gorgeous shades for fall. The first from the left is a matte dark red that is not too pigmented and just looks vampy on the cheeks (see it here), the second looks the scariest and gives a rusty color with gold shimmer and finally the third is a matte pumpkin orange that fits all your warmer looks.
So here are my picks for fall blushes coincidentally all drugstore and affordable products, you know me. Which one is your favorite? Do you have any other blush you would suggest?
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