Alanya, Turkey - Part I.  

Posted by: Viki in

Okay. So before I disappear again for another week (this time to Belgrade, Serbia for a trade fair), I'll make good on my promise and tell you about my holiday in Alanya, Turkey and show you some pictures. As half the time I was too busy coping with an ear infection and a stomach infection, I don't really have that many, but hopefully they'll still give you an idea of what it was like there. (They're also not the best, but I didn't have time to fiddle with manual settings, so I just used automatic...)

Don't get me wrong though: sure, I was ill for more than 3 days out of the 7, but I still think of Alanya with fondness as I pretty much enjoyed (almost) every minute of my stay.

Okay, who wouldn't at a place like this?

The view from our room.
You can probably see a bit of our hotel's beach and then the peninsula and the fortress on top. You might even be able to spot the entrance to the Damlatas Cave if your eyes are sharp. ;-)

Some of you might remember me mentioning that this was the first time I would travel by plane, and that I had been terrified of the prospect of hovering 10 km above ground with pretty much no chance of survival if anything went wrong. Well, it's always nice to have one less thing to be afraid of. ;-) My colleagues were awesome: held my hand (yes, I admit to needing some serious hand-holding during take-off), distracted me so that I wasn't able to focus that much on my surroundings (weird noises, jittery motions of the plane, changes in cabin pressure, etc...), and poured all their confidence into me during the flight. I don't think I'll ever get used to (much less like) the moment when the plane takes off the ground, but I really enjoyed my second flight (the one back home), and look forward to doing it again sometime.

Only... Could families with really annoying crybabies spare me and book another flight? 'Cause having to deal with my first time jitters and having to listen to a 2-year-old baby girl bawl hear head off at full volume for the entire length of the flight (=2 hours and 5 minutes)... And then having that same spawn of the devil (a.k.a.: Inez) sit in the row right behind me on the flight back and wailing for another two hours... Heck, that's definitely something I do not have the nerves for. *

Aaaaaanyway, onto the next topic: the SEA.

Yeah, the SEA. Like that. With capital letters.

Sure, I'd seen the sea before: first the Adriatic Sea when my Mum and I stayed in Rome for a week (it was cold, stormy and absolutely unwelcoming), and then the North Sea which was during our trip to the Netherlands (again, ice-cold and windy).

Now this, this was something entirely different. Sure, we didn't get off on a very good start, the sea and I. You should know that I've always been sort of afraid of the water and although there have been several attempts to teach me how to swim, I've never really manged to. Still, that didn't stop me from walking into the waves as if they belonged to some tranquil lake. My colleagues told me to just jump up a bit when a wave was coming my way so that it would lift me up, and yeah, it seemed to work for them. Now, it was full moon at the time, so next thing I knew there was this enormous wave heading my way, and I'm like: "Ohboyohboyohboy, there's no way I'm gonna stay on top of that, no matter how high I jump." Yup, the wave munched on me for a while, and when it deduced we're just not compatible, it spit me out onto the shore. Hence little ol' me crawling on the beach, holding onto the sand (!) for support, trying to wipe the poison (=salt water) out of my eyes, spitting, hissing and swearing I would never ever even go near the damn thing again.

Now my colleague (and boss, sort of: I'm his personal assistant after all) heard about my first encounter with the sea at lunch and told me he'd teach me how to swim in 30 minutes and make sure I'd get to love the sea by the end of our stay. I did wonder for a while about how exactly he would manage that, but then I just decided to go with the flow and humor him. :-)))

He taught me the basics in the hotel's swimming pool and then an ear-infection, a stomach-infection and 3 days later he showed me how to properly go into the sea (and I did use a swimming belt this time). He was always holding onto me so I felt safe, and although the way the waves kept flinging me up and dropping me down was very scary at first, I soon got used to it and learned to love the sea immensely. (It was also excellent training for my flight back home. :-D) The water was always around 28°C (82 °F) and floating in that wonderful salty water was heaven on earth. (It was also the best natural cosmetic product I've ever come across: got rid of my pimples completely.)

The beach as seen from our hotel room's balcony.

Sand, pebbles, sunbeds and parasols as far as the eye could see... :)

Goodness, I wish I were there, floating on the waves... :-)

Btw, that pebbly sand in Alanya is the best exfoliator ever!

As it was usually 42°C (108 °F) during the day, 30 °C (86°F) at night with a humidity constantly above 85% we never ventured into town before 10 PM. By that time we had usually had dinner and were ready to roam around in the bazaar, or visit the marina on the other side of the peninsula. There were two guys in our group and they always accompanied us to the town: one of the reasons for that is that they wanted to keep us girls safe, and the other was that they really enjoyed boasting to the shopkeepers that all eight of us girls are their wives. ;-D The shopkeepers and sales staff called them Pasha and grinned ear-to-ear.

A typical street in Alanya by night.

We also had a lot of fun haggling in the shops: I'm the kind of person who likes to be given a fix price and pays it without complaint, but I really did laugh my head off at the antics of some of my colleagues. :D

All the magic carpets you'd ever need. :-)

We were also really surprised to have one of the locals introduce himself as Attila, but when another four or five of them called themselves by this very same name (after hearing we're from Hungary), it was starting to become hilarious. :-D I also got more marriage proposals during these seven days that my 5 aunts must have in their lives altogether. ^_^

On the other side of the peninsula the night-life was at full swing by 10 PM: discos everywhere (not my kinda thing, but it was an interesting sight nonetheless), people sometimes dancing on the streets, policemen in pairs (thank God for that!), and the marina of course.

Two of the myriad of discos in Alanya...

... and the song that kept playing wherever we went. (In the TV in our hotel room, on the streets, in the discos, in the pool-bar of our hotel, everywhere!). It's not really my taste in music, but it has forever ensconced itself in a little corner of my head and this post wouldn't be complete without it. :-)

The marina.

Alanya by night.

We also went to see a dolphin show with a few of my colleagues. It was the first time I'd seen dolphins and seals anywhere else but on TV, and it was definitely "the experience of a lifetime". :)

A beautiful parrot we saw outside the dolphinarium.

That's it for today guys (I really should go get some sleep now), but I think I'll post some more pictures and write more when I get back from Belgrade. (I'll be there from 28 September to 4 October.) Got any questions? Wanna know how I cured my stomach infection? Heading to Alanya and don't know what to expect? Leave a comment or drop me a line and ask. ;-)

* Please don't take me seriously: I understand that she may have been bored, her ears (or stomach) may have hurt or she may have had any number of additional problems. (Then again she was fine all through the check-in procedure and only threw a fit when she was forced to stay still, like during the flight.) In any case, I do sympathize with her and her family (and the other 164 passengers...), and wish her the very best.


Still Alive; Getting Well Is Just a Matter of Days  

Posted by: Viki in

Hey girls!

First I'd like to thank Sagu, The Seeker, Sandra and Nimphetamin for their kind words and encouragement. I love you girls!

About my absence since I came back: the 30 °C difference between the temperature in Alanya and Budapest (42 °C and 12 °C respectively) has left me with a nasty cold I've been trying to get rid of, as I only have two weeks to get into tip-top condition for a trade fair our company will participate in in Belgrade, Serbia.

I'll be brief because I really have to get back to bed. :)

  • Flying was great and I can't wait to do it again!

  • I'm officially head over heels in love with the sea. ^_^

  • This one week in Alanya was the best team-building activity ever! Not only do I get along much better with the people I traveled with, but I'm also a lot more comfortable with those who stayed at home (and are staying in Alanya this week). I am very grateful to my boss for inviting me.

  • On a (not-so-) totally random note: dolphins are amazing! :-D

  • Detailed post about our trip coming soon! (With pictures!)

  • On a totally random note: Shut the h*ll up, Inez!!!!!! (Have I managed to pique your curiosity yet? I swear I'll explain soon... :-)))

Bye for now but see you very soon!

Lots of love,

Alive and Well  

Posted by: Viki in

Hi guys! (And especially Nimphetamine and Epurica! ;-))

I'm very-very sorry for disappearing on you like that, but the past few months have been incredibly hectic for me. Lots of stuff happened, not all of it good, and it had managed to drain me of my usual creativity.
A couple of my students from a multinational I used to teach at have also called me back to teach them again, so I have a lot less time nowadays than I used to.

Remember when I got my job? Back then I said that from then on I'd have all the time in the world to blog. Yeah, right... It seems life always has something in store for us.

On the brighter side of things, I'm heading to Turkey today for a week-long holiday courtesy of my boss who takes the staff on a holiday every year. :-) We're going to Alanya, and we're going by plane. (!!!) It's going to be the first time I fly, so I'm all jittery and have wobbly feet... ^_^ Wish me luck! (Especially because I was the one who organized our trip, so if anything goes wrong, it'll be my hide my colleagues hang on the drier...)

On a more serious note: I know I owe people things (e.g.: a package, e-mails, responses...etc.), and I will get to them when I return from Turkey next week. I didn't intend to disappear like that, but for a long time I really didn't have the energy to deal with non-serious stuff (such as a beauty-blog).

I'll probably also start blogging again in the future, though I'm not sure in what form and how often yet.

Once again, I'm very sorry for neglecting my blog and my friends like that, but this time real life had to take precedence over the fun stuff.

Lots of love,

First Fyrinnae Haul - Part I.  

Posted by: Viki in , , , , , , ,

This post will have to begin the same way that all other "first-Fyrinnae-haul" posts do:

Fyrinnae, where have you been all my life?

I knew I was going to love their products, and I ended up being right. Some of you probably know by now that I'm a huge lipgloss junkie, but Fyrinnae are doing everything they can to turn me into an eyeshadow aficionado. Also, they've convinced me to expand Binary Star's technical potential and use my camera's video recording feature to show you how insanely sparkly one of their eyeshadows, Dokkálfar, is.

I can only show you one of them though, because as soon as I finished recording, the sun decided to take a well-deserved rest and hid behind the approaching stormclouds. More eyeshadow swatches to come in Part II.

Please excuse the quality of the video, but I was too excited to care about things like a script, angle or artistic vision. :) It is blurry on purpose though: the lack of proper focus allows me to show you the sparkles better.

Dokkálfar was, by the way, a free sample the guys at Fyrinnae threw in with my order. I was actually thinking of ordering it, but eventually decided to hold off and get it next time. (See? Even back then I knew there'd be a next time.) Anyway, it's a gorgeous, dark moss-green with lime, grass-green and turquoise sparkles, which, despite the crazy amount of sparkle, I can actually see wearing during the daytime as a liner to spice up my otherwise laid-back makeup. It's kind of like powdered hematite and pirite mixed together. :-)

You simply must click on the pic!

I did get some other things too. In fact, here's my haul:

What I got from Fyrinnae:
  • Lip Lustres in Visual Kei, Lollipop Pop, Romantique and Lickable
  • Pixie Epoxy sample
  • Velvel-Gel Silica Primer
  • Blushes in Enchant and Mesmerize
  • Eyeshadows in Changeling, Herbivore, Envy Me, Equality, Immortality, Bastet and Beholder
  • Arcane Magic Eyeshadow in Dark Fantasy

It's been a long time since I was so happy with a make-up haul. It makes me wonder why I stuck to EDM for such a long time when it came to eyeshadows and blushes. Sure, blushes are not Fyrinnae's primary products, but those 12 Glow Blushes that Fyrianne has will beat those of EDM (and other companies) anytime. I'm especially fond of Enchant: it looks scary in the jar, and even more scary in the picture as it somehow came out all orange-looking, but trust me that when you apply it with a skunk brush, it'll give your cheeks a beautiful coral glow just like its name suggests.

Fyrinnae's eyeshadows... I don't even know where to begin. One thing's sure: they are unique and are of exceptional quality. I was a bit skeptical about them first, but now that I've seen them with my own eyes, I probably won't be shopping for new eyeshadows anywhere else. The colors are very pigmented, intense, and look as if they'd magically been extracted from a peacock's feathers. :-) You have to try them to see what I mean, and I promise you, you won't be disappointed if you do.

They come in two sizes:
  • sample size (a very generous 1/3 teaspoonful that'll last you for ages) for 2 USD
  • full size for 5.9 USD

Their Velvet-Gel Silica Primer is another thing that made me jump with joy the moment I tried it: first off, it doesn't contain silicones. If that's not something to be happy about then I don't know what is. My skin hates silicones, and while I have found a very decent priming product sans silicones in Alverde's Tagesfluid Perle, I could very well do without all the oils in it. Fyrinnae's primer contains Aloe Vera juice, silica (totally not the same as silicone) and some gel-forming agent. It'll probably also last me ages, as it's possible to apply on wet skin, and even when applied to dry skin, you need the smallest amount. It creates a perfect, smooth canvas for my foundation and keeps the oilies at bay for a much longer time than anything I've ever tried before. I'll have to perfect its use though as it also tends to dry out my skin a bit, but I'll probably be able to solve that by applying it over a thin layer of moisturizer.

Of course, having read so many raves about Pixie Epoxy, I just had to get a sample. I was hesitating between a sample and a full size, but I'm glad I ended up buying the smaller size: you need so little of the product to cover an eyelid (think smaller that a poppy-seed) that the sample will last me very long.

Pixie Epoxy is not an eyeshadow primer. I can attest to that, as I tried using it as one and it's obviously not in the same league with my beloved Artdeco Eyeshadow Base. What it does, however, is make all that fooling around with water and mixing medium when foiling your eyeshadows a thing of the past. Just apply a tiny amount of the gel to your eyelid, smear it, let it dry a bit until it's sticky and brush on your eyeshadow (brushing is better than patting in PE's case). It makes a world of difference:

See? Mindblowing.

Being the self-professed lippie junkie that I am, I just have to share Fyrinnae's Lip Lustres with you. They are, indeed, not lipglosses in the traditional sense of the word. They really are more like lip tints, but very yummy and moisturizing ones. You can apply a tiny amount and top it with lipbalm or gloss if you only want a slight tint, or you can apply them as you normally would a gloss and they'll cover your lips in bright colors in no time as they're very opaque and will look the same on your lips as they do in the tube. The texture is nice and I guess I could say that these are to regular lipglosses what mineral foundation is to liquid foundation: sort of velvety and barely-there, they feel almost as if I didn't have anything on my lips.

Some of my color choices turned out to be a bit unfortunate, but I'll never blame Fyrinnae for that. I mean what the h*ll was I thinking getting a bright pink lippie??? (Visual Kei anyone?) Especially knowing that it'd be opaque... Okay, so I was in the mood for something bright and cheerful, but I really should have known better... :-)))

Visual Kei: The brightest of them all, sort of fuchsia with slight bluish shimmer. Not my thing, but I'll probably be using it as a tint under lipbalm.

Romantique: Again, not the best choice for my skintone. It's too light and washes me out, but will probably look nice over something else.

Lollipop-Pop: It looks sort of like a toned-down Visual Kei. Medium pink with blue shimmer and looks a lot cooler in real life than on Fyrinnae's website. I'll be able to wear this on its own.

Lickable: Okay, this is my favorite. :-) A pinkish golden-brown, quite complex although it looks unassuming in the tube. It makes my lips lighter than they are, gives them a subtle golden sheen and is perfect combined with a brown smoky eye or any sort of green eye makeup.
Also, what the heck??? Lickable is nowhere to be found on Fyrinnae's website anymore! What gives? *scratches head*

Oh, and another thing: Fyrinnae's Lip Lustres smell and taste delicious. I like the scent of Romantique the best (I mean I could sniff it all day), but all the others are equally mouth-watering.

Fyrinnae's Lip Lustres come in two sizes:
  • 3 ml for 2.5 USD
  • 5.8 ml for 4.5 USD

Both sizes come with doefoot applicators, and while I'm not fond of those, I understand why they would be picked for this product. Brushes just wouldn't work with this texture.

All in all, I'm ridiculously happy with my Fyrinnae haul and will definitely order from them again. As the Hungarian Forint has plummeted thanks to the financial crisis in Greece, that order will have to wait a bit, but I already have my wishlist full and can hardly wait to try some more of Fyrinnae's eyeshadows, Lip Lustres and blushes. I will also order a full size from their Velvet-Gel Silica Primer. ;-)

Have you ever tried Fyrinnae? What's your opinion? Have their products managed to bewitch you just as much?

Finally, here are some more swatches of the Lip Lustres.


Labello Fruity Shine Lipbalm in Strawberry  

Posted by: Viki in , , ,

I've already talked about how Labello has recently managed to redeem itself in my eyes with one of its lipbalms from their new Fruity Shine line. I really love my Dragonfruit lipbalm and have been using it more often than my Silk Naturals lippies (heresy!), but I was also curious if other products from the same line would manage to perform just as well.

Now I've been trying to achieve this "just-ate-a-lollypop" look practically ever since I started using makeup and was particularly adamant in my wish to be able to get it by using one single product. Sure, I could always go and put on untinted lipbalm, after which I could meticulously apply the correct amount of lipstick (that which would only give my lips a nice sheer tint but no actual coverage), but who the heck wants to go to all that trouble at least five times a day, and more importantly, who the heck can? I certainly can't (and won't), so I am all the more grateful to Fan for introducing me to Labello's Fruity Shine line. You see their strawberry lipbalm is IT. The lippie that helps me create the highly coveted lollypop-look in approximately two swipes. Eeeeeasy. And I just love easy. Actually, don't we all? :-)

I suggest that if you're curious about other things than what this lipbalm looks like, you go and read my post on the dragonfruit version: they perform the same way, weigh and cost just as much, and have the same gel-like texture that feel sort of cushion-y on my lips and don't dry them (unlike Labello's previous attempts).

For now, just glue your eyes to the screen and watch as I show you exactly what I mean when I say this lippie is perfect (and is totally HG material). ;-)

Ah, the typical Labello packaging... :)

It may seem over-the-top, but it really isn't. Rest assured, it won't turn your lips that scary fire-engine red.

See? Pretty sheer. ;-)

And it packs a mean punch when it comes to shine. L-O-V-E

Yup, the ingredients are important too. :)