Photo shoot in NoLita, Manhattan

Hi guys!

Yesterday I went out with the sales team of Only Hearts to do a little lifestyle photo shoot. The model, Renee (@renwiththemane), was gorgeous! She knew exactly what to do and she was so much fun to work with. I also took some pictures myself for the Only Hearts’ Instagram account and they honestly turned out better than I expected! Everything she’s wearing on the pictures, except for the jeans, are pieces from Only Hearts.

We went to several photo-worthy spots in NoLita, Manhattan. This is also where Only Hearts’ flagship store is located (Mott st). I am so in love with this trendy area! It’s full of cute little restaurants, bakeries and boutiques and a must-see when you’re in New York.

I took all pictures below with my iPhone X! (The quality looks bad in this post but it improves when you click on the pictures)

 

P.S. Have you ever been to Little Cupcake Bakeshop? We went there to shoot some pictures and bought a cupcake as a prop. Eventually we split the cupcake and it was so good! I am definitely going back there. They have four locations in New York (Prince St, and 3 stores in Brooklyn). Definitely check it out when you get the chance!

Instagram: @littlecupcakebakeshop

P.P.S. This is not a sponsored post! I genuinely had a fun day shooting for Only Hearts and I am really excited about the bakeshop. Just trying to make sure you guys don’t miss out on anything while visiting NYC!

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#8 Amazing Skincare Benefits Of Aloe Vera

What’s the one natural beauty product all beauty bloggers swear by? That’d be Aloe Vera. This tropical plant is known for its multiple uses and health benefits. In fact, it’s the gel that does the trick. Fortunately, you don’t need an actual Aloe Vera plant to enjoy its benefits. You can buy the gel at a lot of drugstores and health and food shops, and it’s entirely affordable!

In this post, I’ve summed up the most popular skincare uses for Aloe Vera which will make you ask yourself: why do I not own this amazing product yet?!

#8 Amazing Skincare Uses of Aloe Vera (TCOADG)

1. Treating skin conditions

Aloe Vera gel is a combination of vitamins, minerals, acids which makes it a great remedy for skin conditions (this is also the most common use of Aloe Vera gel).

For centuries people have been using Aloe Vera gel for treating minor cuts, soothing rashes, treating minor (sun)burns, accelerate wound healing, reducing infections and many other skin conditions. The gel is cooling and anti-inflammatory which makes it great for treating sunburns and soothing the skin. This sounds like the kind of product your grandma would pull out of her kitchen cabinet for any little problem, right…? It’s a must-have home remedy!

(If this is your first time using Aloe Vera: always do a patch-test on your hand before applying the gel on your face. Just to make sure you’re not allergic!) 

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2. Hair growth 

Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes which repair the dead cells on your scalp and maintains its pH balance. This is why many people claim that applying the gel on their scalp (or using it as a conditioner) makes their hair grow faster. It has not been proven by any researches yet, but we’d like to believe it, don’t we? Also, what’s the harm?

Besides hair growth, Aloe Vera is believed to do many more wonders to your hair: it relieves an itchy scalp and significantly reduces dandruff. After using the gel as a conditioner, it will leave your hair smooth and silky. I say it’s worth the try, isn’t it?

3. Make-up Remover

It might be a little weird to think about: using a gel as a make-up remover. Honestly, it’s not something I would try out myself but there are people who did, and they’re loving it! The gel is very gentle and not harmful at all for the delicate skin around your eyes, the cooling ingredients also reduce the redness on your skin (e.g. acne scars, spots, rosea).

Just apply some gel on a cotton ball/ pad and use it like you’d use any make-up remover.

 

Aloe Pura Organic gel

This is the gel I own: Organic Aloe Vera Gel by Aloe Pura

 

4.  Exfoliator

Aloe Vera gel works great as an exfoliator (homemade scrub) and it’s so easy! Just mix the gel with brown sugar (brown sugar is rough and works better as a scrub than normal sugar). Be careful not to exfoliate too much though, 2 times a week is all your face needs.

5. Skin brightener

Aloe Vera gel is often used as a skin brightener in the South-Asian countries. It might not be as effective as lemon juice but it’s way less damaging, which is exactly what you need if you want to brighten scars or blemishes on your face.  All you have to do is apply the gel to your flaws every night (or morning too, if you’re not going to wear make-up) and stay consistent for a few weeks to see a significant change.

6. Anti-Aging

If you’ve ever applied Aloe Vera on your face or body, you’ll know that it tightens after a few minutes. But how does that fight aging? Aloe Vera helps to rebuild collagen (more of it and faster) which controls the aging process of your skin. Aloe Vera also contains vitamin E which will keep your skin looking youthful and prevent premature signs of aging. Some even claim that Aloe Vera works better than anti-aging products…

Aloe Vera moisturizer

7. Overnight Mask

Because of its soothing and moisturizing ingredients, Aloe Vera gel works great as an overnight mask. The gel will significantly reduce redness and scars and you’ll wake up with a healthy, glowing skin. Isn’t that what we all want? 

8. Moisturizer

Many models swear by Aloe Vera as their go-to moisturizer. The gel increases the water content in your skin and leaves it hydrated and non-greasy. This is perfect for people with an oily or acne-prone skin.



And that was it! I hope this post convinced you that Aloe Vera should be a part of your skincare routine, because you’re missing out on some great benefits! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried Aloe Vera on your face and how you experienced it.

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Note:

  • Using Aloe Vera on your skin is safe, but do not take it internally!
  • If you’re considering to buy Aloe Vera gel, make sure you buy it in an actual certificated drugstore/ health store instead of on some strange online webshop (for your own health!) 

 

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#5 Places to Successfully Promote Your Blog (Tips + Tricks)

Like I mentioned in one of my last posts, traffic is one of the most important things when you’re a blogger. There are so many ways to increase your blog traffic, but the simplest one is to promote your blog and yourself: it’s more sensible to let readers associate your name with your blog (unless you’d rather stay anonymous, obviously). Today I’ll tell you about a few ways to promote your blog and how to do this. You’re probably familiar with most of them, but are you really using them to the fullest?

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1. Social Media

This isn’t only the most obvious one,  but also the most important one. In the US only, an estimated 185 million people are active on social media. Also, 9 in 10 companies worldwide are using social media to interact with customers and promote themselves. Research shows that there were 2,46 billion social media users active in 2017, and people are expecting a total of 3 billion users in 2021. In short, why would you not promote your blog on social media? It’s the way to reach whoever you want to reach. (Source)

A lot of us are currently using Instagram to upload selfies, holiday pictures, party pictures or stalk our “friends”, but this exact same platform could be used for business purposes. If you’re ready to let people know you own a blog, consider putting the link in your Instagram bio. Believe me, it will attract dozens of viewers on a daily base which will make you realize how much people stalk your Instagram…

Another way is creating a Facebook page for your blog, this is also great if your blog has multiple writers. A Facebook page is the way to connect with your readers in a more personal way and keep them up-to-date.

If your blog is all about photographing or any other kind of art, you should definitely start promoting on Tumblr. This might also be your place to be for inspiration!

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2. StumbleUpon

I used StumbleUpon a lot when I started getting more serious with my blog, it’s the easiest way to discover new and interesting websites, photos and videos across the web. It’s also your chance to put your website/blog posts on there and get noticed!

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3. Tell people about it (Word-of-Mouth)

One of the most effective ways to create awareness under your target-audience is to talk to them. Tell your friends, family or acquaintances about your blog and ask them to check it out. For example, you can ask an uncle who’s great in English to check out your grammar. This way the people around you will know about your blog and there’s a big chance they’ll tell other people about it too and that is exactly what you want!

Talking Women TCOADG

4. Pinterest

I have written an entire article about how to get the most out of Pinterest, which you can find here. Pinterest is full of possibilities to design your life. Discover recipes, healthcare, skincare and self-care ideas, style inspiration, blog post ideas, projects for your home, DIYs and tips and tricks you should definitely try. Find everyday ideas you love, what to make for dinner, what to put on your walls, what to wear and more ideas for every part of your life.

5. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to find and make business connections, expand your business community and share your business-related experiences. If you want to promote yourself or get your blog to a higher and more professional level, this is exactly what you need.


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Smashbox

Hi guys! 

As you guys might have noticed, my previous post was all about Smashbox. What exactly is Smashbox and why do I seem so obsessed with it? 

I have been using Sephora’s foundations and Dior’s BB-creams for a long time but since I can’t find any of these similar products in the Netherlands anymore, I figured it’s time to switch to another brand and try. out something new. I had in mind to buy M.A.C Cosmetics because a lot of celebs use these and it looks absolutely gorgeouson them. So last Friday I went to this shop where, I thought, they sell M.A.C products. My bad, they didn’t. I was kinda disappointed because I really needed a new foundation so the saleslady told me they did sell a similar brand called ‘Smashbox’.

Of course I had heard of this brand before but I didn’t know that these products were just as good; which should be quite neccessary because Smashbox foundations are even more expensive than M.A.C’s. The woman tried some products out on me (foundation, concealer and a setting powder) and the result was absolutely wonderful. I couldn’t even believe that there was an actual foundation out there that really matched my skintone. 

The foundation cost 37,- and the concealer cost 23,-. I didn’t really ask about the setting powder because I haven’t finished my own yet (MUA). I was gonna buy the foundation for sure but mom told me to buy the concealer as well because it looked really good. So it would be 60,- in total but I had a gift card for 20,- which my friends gave me for my birthday so I also spent that. 

More about Smashbox

What’s this hype about Smashbox? Well, it’s similar to M.A.C cosmetics, made by the Factor-brothers (Max Factor) and currently a part of  Estée Lauder cosmetics. Smashbox had some starting problems because their former PR was drugged and raped by someone who happened to be a friend of the Factors. The brand struggled a lot to make its comeback and finally got famous for its primers. 

Smashbox cosmetics are especially made for photoshoots because they last longer and are oil-free and give a flawless skin-effect. 

Beauty Store That Only Sells Instagram-Famous Products

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“If you don’t know what’s hot, you’re not paying attention.”

Have you ever heard of Richard Parrott? Me neither. Until I read this interesting article about him, it turns out that he owns a beauty shop in Soho. And he doesn’t sell casual beauty products you can buy at any drugstore, no. Richard Parrott only sells products that became famous through Instagram. Honestly, I think that’s a pretty cool idea. + The products aren’t even as expensive as you thought!

Richard Parrott is a 42 years old dad who happens to be really good at Instagram stalking. His shop is called Ricky’s NYC.

So how does Richard actually finds the most-famous products on Instagram? I don’t think it’s that easy, right?

“I open Instagram in the morning and fall down the rabbit hole. Say I’m following NYX Cosmetics, and they post a picture of a girl wearing incredible lipstick. If the caption says, “Thanks to so-and-so …,” I’ll click on that person. Then I start looking through their posts and find a picture of a lipstick that’s even better than the one they posted of NYX. I click on that one and see who liked it and just keep going. You click through ten different people and 20 different comments until you’re like, What is this brand? I’ve never even heard of them! That’s when we reach out.”

I’m convinced that this guy should write a book called: “The official guide for Instagram stalking” because that’s damn good. I think any girl could use this to stalk their exes, and his exes and his ex’s hot brother and go on…

Can we say that you’ll be carrying many Kardashian-endorsed products? 

Yeah. One example is this self-tanner called Cocoa Brown ($14) out of Ireland. I was already carrying it in Ricky’s before Kylie Jenner posted about it, and I vaguely remember the owner telling me she had some sort of connection to the Kardashians’ PR. Maybe that person gave the tanner to Kylie, who then used it and liked it. She posted a really realistic picture of herself in a bikini with Cocoa Brown off to the side with a caption like, “This is my favorite self-tanner.” They definitely didn’t give her a million dollars to do that, and people respond differently when it’s real. After that picture, I sold out of everything I had.

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Too bad I did not know about Ricky’s NYC when I was in New York, damn. I think it would be a great success if he’d open more shops, for example…Europe? The Netherlands maybe..? Oh, just suggesting.

The best thing of Richard’s shop might be that he does not only sell makeup but also little accessories like phone cases, notebooks and those cute little must-have things, because let’s be honest, those are quite Insta-famous too.

While you’re being all excited about this shop, might as well check out Richard’s Tumblr page!

I think I’m about to buy a plane ticket straight to New York because I. Must. Go. To. Ricky’s NYC. Now.

Thailand 2015

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In 2015, I made a 3-weeks road trip through Thailand with my parents. We visited the biggest cities like Bangkok and Phuket and the most beautiful beaches and islands. Honestly, at that moment I didn’t even want to go back home. I also made a short video of our trip.

Of course, we did a lot of shopping and one of the shopping malls we visited was Siam Paragon. Siam Paragon is one of the most expensive (but beautiful) shopping malls in Bangkok. It’s also one of the most popular malls in Thailand.

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One of the things I bought at Siam Paragon is the the Clinique Sonic System. I bought this brush for way cheaper than I could in the Netherlands. At the time, the Clinique Sonic System cost €125 in The Netherlands. In Siam Paragon I could get it for 4200 Baht, but because of the discount I bought it for 3600 Baht (€95).  I was also given an extra brush (€20). I have written a review about this brush, which you can find here: review about the Clinique Sonic System

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I also bought the Bobbi Brown Luxury Brush set, including a soft beautycase and 9 brushes. Click here to read the full review.

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“The right tools are just as important as the makeup itself.”- Bobbi Brown

 

Thailand is a beautiful country which lots of beautiful islands, beaches and nature which you won’t believe unless you see it.

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Traveler’s outfit

Traveler's outfit

Shirts top
€12 – beautifulhalo.com

Vintage shorts
€140 – shopdashonline.com

Nike shoes
€64 – jcpenney.com

Canvas backpack
€9,46 – dressin.com

Bracelet bangle
€54 – tradesy.com