Month: January 2016

Medieval torture devices of beauty

wp-1453239301190.jpgI’m not one to go to extremes for vanity’s sake, but the weirdest part of my skincare routine is definitely the the microneedling, or if you’re feeling fancy, collagen induction therapy.

CIT is a cosmetic medical procedure used to treat scars such as stretch marks or acne scarring, or to treat wrinkles, by pricking the skin with hundreds of tiny needles, which stimulates collagen production and repairs damage.

As dermarollers are inexpensive on Amazon and the reviews seem pretty good, I figured at best, I’d have wonderful skin, and at worst, I’d have wasted a couple of pounds and would have red skin for a couple of days, so not much to lose. Despite looking like a miniature medieval torture device, the results so far have been impressive, and honestly, the pain is minimal – comparable to a rough exfoliant.

I remove my makeup and cleanse my skin with micellar water, then start to work while my skin is still damp. Taking the clean (v. important, unless you want a breakout) roller, I start rolling it back and forth over my skin, focusing on places where wrinkles develop, such as around the mouth and forehead. I work first by going four or five times up and down, then left to right, then diagonally both ways in small patches, until I have done my entire face.

Afterwards, my skin is red but not bleeding, and I immediately apply a layer of moisturiser. After that has soaked in, I’ll apply a second layer. I do this process on a night so my skin has time to recover before I want to put on makeup again.

The next day, I resume my usual skincare routine (removing old product with micellar water, and reapplying moisturiser before moving on to makeup) as normal. My skin always looks refreshed and glowing afterwards, and feels super smooth and baby soft. Totally worth the ten minute’s effort every week or so. Will it keep my skin looking youthful as I age? Only time will tell. But I’d like to think that future me will be thanking present me for the preventative efforts I’ve been making.

I should definitely point out that this treatment is definitely not for you if you have any active skin problems, such as healing wounds or an acne breakout, obviously. That would just be asking to spreading more germs around your face, but it’s worth looking into if you’ve got scarring from issues that you’ve now recovered from

I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to improve the appearance of mild scarring, take preventative action against future aging, or simply wants soft and refreshed skin! Affordable, time-efficient, and with instant, and long-term results? Totally worth a try.

– Niko



The art of being a little bit weird

Oh, hey… heh. What was that about being more active here wp-1453152794544.jpgin 2016?

Maman bought me a book for my birthday called The Art of Being Normal. It was probably just because she thought that the title was funny,  transgender teenagers are definitely at the bottom of my ‘fiction plotlines that I would find vaguely interesting’ list, but it had me thinking about being ‘normal’ in general.

Weird people know we’re weird, and we don’t feel the need to announce it (looking at you, omg i like books and tea i’m so quirky ahahaha girls), in fact, we’ve often put a lot of energy into striving to be whatever we thought regular people are like.

I know there’s not really any such thing as ‘normal’, but you know that there are people that never quite fit in, and growing up, that was always me. I never had a large group of friends, and especially in secondary school, I mostly drifted between groups of people who were nice enough, but weren’t really close friends. I was a bit paranoid, mentioning anything slightly unusual to a bunch of equally self-conscious teenagers was met with looks of disgust and second-hand embarrassment, which would just push me back into my shell.

Looking back, I’m glad that I was, and still am, a bit weird. This isn’t going to be a blog post about how I’m better than those other people, and it’s not something I’mm particularly proud of, any more than I am of having brown hair. What I want really to say is that our experiences in childhood shape who we are as adults, and I’m pleased that my younger self, for all of her cringey tastes in music and clothing, terrible DIY haircuts, and loneliness, has helped me become me.

The things I was insecure about before, I think, have become my strengths. All the time I spent alone has taught me how to become independent, I don’t care if I look like my date stood me up at a restaurant, I’m perfectly happy eating by myself. My odd dress sense is probably still odd, but I know what I like, and I’ll happily take risks that others wouldn’t dream of. I don’t think of myself as particularly intelligent, and if I weren’t myself I’d probably tell me to shut the fuck up, but people do me the compliment of letting me ramble on for hours on just about anything, so I suppose I’m doing something right there, too.

I’m not 100% where I want to be yet, it takes me a while to really open up around new people, and there are always parts of myself that I’ll be working on, but I know that self-improvement is a lifelong process, and that I’m on the right track.

– Niko


Sunday links /// 03/01/16


Hello all and welcome to the first Sunday links post of 2016, incredibly late in the day of course, as I like to stay true to form.

  • I decided recently that I don’t want to get married in a white dress (as you do when you’re single, and have explicitly decided not to be in a relationship for a certain period.) Here’s some gorgeous wedding inspiration with a blue dress.
  • What would Sunday links be without me fawning over Chriselle Lim? Here she is, wearing the wrap skirt and heels that dreams are made of.

  • Luxury malls are thriving. Anyone wanna take me shopping?
  • How to be a great host. I feel like this is knowledge that I just need to have for throwing fabulous dinner parties one day.
  • Elephant-repelling bee fences that protect crops. Genius.
  • Photo restorations reveal even more details of the doomed 1915 voyage to the Antarctic. The first has always been a favourite because the ship looks like a tiny toy.
  • Goldfish resolutions. I guess this is what I was trying to say earlier? No pressure, just gradual efforts in the right direction.
  • Fairytale maiden dress-up game. A WHOLE NEW WOOORLD (of procrastination).
  • Posh Broke & Bored’s bedroom makeover looks great. Busy spaces make me anxious, so a good de-clutter is really satisfying to see.
  • Angela Clayton makes a pair of shoes! You will probably remember that I linked to her red renaissance style dress before. She is so talented.

May the remaining minutes of your Sunday be sufficiently distracted.

– Niko

Looking Forward

wp-1451654816326.jpgI don’t really like to give myself New Year’s Resolutions, the timing feels a bit arbitrary and often people are too optimistic. What I always do though, is try to watch 100 films that I’ve never seen before each year. I’m usually good at this, but for some reason I forgot to make a note of what I’d seen in 2015, so I don’t know whether or not I reached my target. I’ll be keeping a record for 2016, though.

This year, instead of making promises to myself that I could never keep, I want to look at the things I’m improving on, and make an effort to keep on in the right direction. For me those things are:

1. Money. 2015 was an expensive year for multiple (sometimes unavoidable) reasons, and I spent far too long on the brink of my overdraft limit. I’ve decided to keep a record of what I’m spending, so I can better budget my life, and start putting money aside in my savings account again, which unfortunately I had to empty last year.

2. Exercise. I actually do a fair amount of walking in my day-to-day life, but I took up running a couple of months ago. It’s refreshing to do some cardio from time to time, and I’m mostly concerned with fixing my tight calf muscles, especially in winter when most of the time I’m wearing heeled boots. I want to get to a place where my legs don’t ache after a jog, and it becomes a regular part of my routine.

3. Studies. I want to make a more dedicated effort to my education. Not that I wasn’t trying before, but I had far more 4am library sessions than anyone should be doing, and I want to stay on top of my workload, which last year felt a bit like spinning plates. My action plan here is basically just to be more organised, and maybe stay on campus rather than going straight home after a lecture. That way, I don’t have to make a long journey to the library from home if there’s anything I need.

4. Personal life. I’ve decided that I don’t want to be in a relationship until I move back to Florence permanently, so I’m not making any resolutions in that department, plus, it’ll give me more time to focus on my degree, which I’m enjoying a lot right now. I would, however, like to make more of an effort to maintain the friendships with the people I value, because it’s such a shame when you drift from the people you love.

That’s it, really. Nothing radical, no great, sweeping changes, no Eat, Pray, Love. I think that making small steps towards the vision I have of what I’d like to be. It’s better this way.

Have you set yourself any goals this year? Did you achieve what you wanted to last year?

– Niko