Longer lashes with baby powder

I've worn false lashes for probably 3 years straight, until I decided to ditch the falsies for a while. It became too much of a fuss to apply false lashes every day before going to work, so I just stuck with mascara instead. But there's just something about the look of false lashes ... I wanted to achieve the same results without actually having to apply lashes or invest in eyelash extensions. I tried this hack I read about online and it definitely works!

There's only one product you'll need to add to your mascara routine: babypowder! It doesn't matter what brand you use, as long as it's baby powder you'll achieve the look of falsies in just seconds.
All you need to do is apply a generous amount of mascara on your lashes, then dust some baby powder on small brush and sweep it along your (wet) lashes. It will form a layer on top of your lashes and it extends them as well. You can repeat this for as many times as you'd like, but this method does give you spider lashes easily! Don't forget to apply the last coat of mascara on top - other wise you'll look pretty crazy with white lashes ;)

I personally like the look of thick, chunky lashes over super seperated lashes, so this works wonders for me. I included a before and after photo below: the results are pretty obvious, right? I think it's definitely worth trying what this trick does for your lashes. If you don't like it, you can use the baby powder for many more creative solutions... like dry shampoo when you have greasy hair. Do you know more baby powder hacks we should learn about? If so, feel free to share it in the comment section๐Ÿ‘Œ

PS. If you not only fancy full eyelashes but also thicker, naturally fuller brows: this is the wonder oil you will need to apply!

Longer lashes with baby powder

Wait, what? An outfit post!? It feels kind of strange (and new again) to make an appearance on my own blog, in the form of an outfit post. It's been quite a long time since I last shared my own looks here on BLES Magazine...  I no longer see myself as a fashion blogger, so I didn't really intend to share outfits anymore. My sister and I were goofing around with the portret mode of my iPhone 8 Plus and we realized that this camera takes the exact same quality photos as my professional SLR camera used to take! We were kinda shocked, these random outfit photos came out so well. I figured, why not share them here.

In case you were wondering if you can take proper outfit photos with an iPhone 8 Plus - you definitely can! The depth is amazing, I might just do this more often (let me know if you think I should). I wore this outfit on a relaxed day of strolling through the city on a Saturday afternoon.  This is what I love to wear in weekends: leggings, oversized sweaters and comfortable shoes. Especially when strolling through the city for hours. If you follow me on Instagram, you might recognize my faux fur coat...  I am pretty much living in this pink fluffy coat this winter, I wear it on all my Instagram photos! It's definitely my most favorite coat, as I've been obsessed with faux fur and this nude/pink color for years. 

This is the second year I've worn this coat, I've washed it as well and the quality is still very good! So as longs as the temperatures allow me, I will wear this coat from Zara many more times. Check the details below for the rest of this super rare outfit post๐Ÿ‘€

Coat: Zara | Sweater: H&M | Leggings: Topshop | Shoes: H&M | Scarf: Zara | Bag: Ralph Lauren

3 Ways To Start Your Day With Motivation

Do you also have a hard time getting out of bed and starting your day with motivation? You're not alone, because especially during the fall and winter times, more and more people struggle with this. Whether it's because of the darker days, the cold or just because you're tired or in a rut... Here are 3 ways to start your day with motivation!

Positive vibes are different for everyone, so I must say that these 3 tips are based on my own experience. I have a hard time getting up because I'm often still super tired when I wake up and I am always cold. SO cold. Which makes me want to dive back into bed, but nope… Work’s waiting for me! So, here are my tips for a motivated start of the day.

1: Make sure you don’t have to hurry
I used to set my alarm clock as late as possible so I could get my maximum amount of sleep… Which only caused me to wake up feeling stressed already, because I knew I only had a short time to get ready. I skipped breakfast and ate an apple instead while I ran to the bus station. That doesn’t work, so I learned. I was exhausted before I even made it to work. Nowadays I make sure I have at least an extra 10 minutes so I can get a cup of tea before I leave the house. I pack my lunch, my stuff and walk out the door knowing that I won’t have to run to catch the bus. Those extra 10 minutes save a lot of stress in the morning when you have a bad hairday or if you need to fix a make up mistake. But most importantly: I take more time to wake up with a cup of tea and a proper breakfast. Way to start the day!

2: Put on some good music
While I get ready and do my hair and make up, I like to play some music on my phone. Silence makes me sleepy again in the morning, so I go for happy beats that instantly make me feel good and excited. I always notice a major difference when I wake up and play some music versus when I don’t. If you have a hard time waking up or if you often wake up feeling moody, try playing some of your favorite songs! Make sure you don’t put on songs that make you want to dance, or you’ll be back off with point 1 ๐Ÿ˜‰

3: Make a to do list
This one is crucial for me! I absolutely hate waking up thinking: I have a lot of stuff to do, but I don’t know exactly what, when, where or how!… To clear your head, make a to do list on your phone or just old school on paper. I make to do lists for work every single day, so I don't have to worry about forgetting any important tasks. But also for random stuff like reminding myself to put money on my public transport card, or buy groceries, or make an appointment for the dentist... I write everything down in to do lists. It simply makes it easier to let go of things that other wise run through your mind and make you worry. As long as you have a visual checklist, youl’ll be able to clear your head and get reminded of important tasks you should not forget about. Love it!

What are your tips to start the day with motivation?

Full & Natural Eyebrows With Castor Oil

It's crazy how quickly trends in make up and beauty change nowadays. It wasn't too long ago when thin, drawn on eyebrows where hot and happening. Then there were (and still are) the 'Instagram' brows, followed by the latest brow trend: full, natural, bushy brows. But what if you're not blessed with brows like super models Cara Delevingne and Kaia Gerber, for example? I tried a beauty oil that's known to promote hair growth... let me tell you: it 100% works! 

Fuller, thicker eyebrows with Castor oil
As soon as I read about castor oil being really great for growing out your eyebrows (or eyelashes) I decided to give it a try. It's important to only use 100% castor oil, which is a bit thicker and yellow-ish of color. Some castor oils are mixed with other oils, so you won't get everything out of the product. Pure castor oil is unusually rich in ricinoleic acid which helps improve your blood circulation, more than any other oil would do. That results in nutrition for the hair follicles, but also much stronger strands and less breakage.

How often should you apply Castor oil?
At first I forgot to use castor oil every evening, so I did it about 2 or 3 times a week. Later on I made it a part of my night routine and I literally applied it every single night before going to sleep. I simply applied a decent amount of oil on top of my brows and gently rubbed it in, so that all the hairs and the roots were covered. After about a week of doing this every night, I noticed a major difference! My eyebrows started growing back in places where there were bald patches before, and the hairs came back so much thicker. After about 3 months my eyebrows were so much thicker that I finally stopped drawing them in. Nowadays I still apply castor oil to my brows about once or twice a week, because they're actually starting to get really bushy... I trim the edges now, which I never thought I'd have to do to my brows!

All I do now as far as my brow routine goes when applying my makeup, it brushing some dark brown mascara through the hairs to make them a little thicker and keep them in place. I honestly love this natural, thick brow look on myself, and it saves me a lot of time in in my make up routine as well. So, if you're looking for a cheap and easy way to grow out your brows, get your hands on a bottle of 100% Castor oil and within a few weeks, you should see major results๐Ÿ˜ƒ

On the left: what my brows looked like before - vs what they looked like after makeup

My natural brows after using Castor oil

Excercising... To most people that doesn't sound like music to their ears. So many people spend the day sitting behind a desk, wether it's at school or at work, so a little exercise here and there often loses out. As summer is around the corner and we all want to get more fit and healthy, take a seat (oops!) and read through some tips below on small things you can do to get more exercise out of your day.

Take your (or someone else's) dog for a walk
Dogs are not just the best pets and man's best friend... they keep you fit too! If you already have a dog, go for a walk more often. Your dog will love you for it and both you and your dog will get more exercise. If you don't have dog of your own, ask your friends or neighbours to walk their dog. The best and most fun way to walk an extra mile!

Take the stairs
This one seems so obvious, yet so many people choose to take the elevator instead of the stairs. Sure you don't have to walk 8 floors by stairs, but at least a few steps will provide a good work out! Walking stairs is great for your lower and upper legs and it easily gets your heart rate up, especially if you take a sprint.

Skip the car and take the bike
Help the environment and your health at once by taking the car less often. For shorter distances, the bike is a great alternative to get you from A to B. Cycling is not only a great work out for your legs, a bit of cycling out in the sun and fresh air is also gonna make you feel relaxed and refreshed!

Go for lunch outside
If your job requires you to sit (inside!) all day, make sure to avoid eating your lunch while sitting down, too. Instead, go for a walk outside while you eat your sandwhich or walk even farther with colleagues and have lunch somewhere else, You'll probably have to pick up the pace to be back in time again, so you'll turn your lunch break into a small work out.

Park farther than you need to
If you do want to take the car, don’t stress over trying to get the closest possible spot to your destination. Instead, park farther away than you need to. You’ll get in some extra walking on your way to work or the grocery store.

Take calls standing up
If you spend a lot of time on the phone at work, or talking to your friends for hours, use that time to get off your chair and stretch your legs. Walk around or go up and down the stairs... You can spend that time talking much better than just sitting down!

image source

Super Easy DIY | Hydrating Lip Balm

For as long as I can remember I have had very dry lips ... The most annoying thing is: I can not stop picking my lips and it results in painful chaps. I have tried a lot to tackle those dry, chapped lips but unfortunately nothing helped. No Labello or fancy lip scrub, not even the well-known O'Keeffes Lip Repair balm. After a long search on the internet I came across a super simple DIY and after a few days I can finally reassure you that this really works! 

The products you'll need
Of course everyone knows Vaseline ... I have had the jars with Lip Therapy before, but I only recently discovered that this product mixed with another product, really gives you amazing results. The stuff I mixed the Vaseline with is 100% pure, Moroccan Argan oil! When I was in Morocco laast year, I went looking for the best, pure Argan oil. Once I found it I took 8 bottles of it home to the Netherlands, of which I still have a nice stock left. Fortunately, there are also enough web shops that sell 100% pure Moroccan Argan oil, but make sure that it actually comes from Morocco and that it has no other additions. 

Why it works
The 'Moroccan gold' has a large amount of anti-oxidants, including vitamin E, which increases the skin's ability to regenerate and it has natural anti-aging properties. Argan oil penetrates deeper into the skin than other oils (such as coconut oil) and retains moisture. Vaseline also does this, which makes me personally think that this combination works so well. I first melted the Vaseline (a whole jar of Lip Therapy) by putting it in a small container and then heating it briefly. I added a tablespoon of Argan oil to the liquid Vaseline. Briefly stir, pour into a small jar and allow to cool the mixture. That's it! 

When I apply this mix to my lips I notice that it is slightly more fluid than just Vasline, because of course oil has been added. But what I also notice is that this combination stays on for a long time and really hydrates my lips. This stuff has finally broken the vicious circle of contstantly picking my lips because they're so dry. In addition, it is a 100% natural product, so I feel free to apply it all day and enjoy sift lips all the time. If you also suffer from dry lips, try this DIY.  Trust me, it is worth it!

Plumper lips, I personally don't know any girl who wouldn't love to have fuller, plumper lips. We don't always love the Kylie Jenner look, but some naturally fuller lips: oh yes! Many cosmetic brands jumped in on the fuller lips trend and came up with various lip plumping products. In this article I'm not talking about the lip suction devices - those definitely work for a few hours - but I'm reviewing a few lip plumping glosses to find out: do lip plumping products really work?

I'm gonna give it to you straight: my exeperience is that these products do not work. Not even a little bit. Not even the most expensive ones. It's just a great marketing tric, but as always: if it is too good to be true, it probably is. The 'secret' ingredient in almost all lip plumping products is nothing more than menthol. What this does is make your lips tingle and promote blood flow, which can optically make your lips more red and possibly a teeny tiny bit larger. The amount of menthol you need to apply to your lips - I tried toothpaste on my lips to prove this point lol - is so much, it would make it very uncomfortable before you see results. The tingling sensations makes you think it's working wonders, but in my opinion, it's just irritating to my lips.

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Lipgloss - €25,99
I first tested the most hyped product for fuller lips: the Lip Injection Extreme lip gloss from Too Faced. This was also the most uncomfortable of the 3 glosses I tested: it burns sooo badly! This gloss is super shiny and does not feel sticky, but those are all the positive things I could find. The gloss doesn't last very lomg and most importantly, it does nothing to increase the size of my lips. Unfortunately, the reviews online are actually pretty positive. However, on the official website and big webshops like Sephora, reviews are approved before they are posted online. That could explain that any negative experiences with this product will not shop up online. Despite the fact that the great beauty gurus like Jeffree Star are enthusiastic about it (guess somebody got paid for it), this product does not do anything for me. By the way, I have thrown this one out before I thought of writing a review about this so I have no picture of it๐Ÿ˜….

Ofra Lip Plumper lipgloss - €17,95
The net lip plumping gloss I tried was a clear one from Ofra. After applying a thick layer, I still didn't feel a tingling senstation, but I could actually smell menthol. Kinda strange! It did make my lips look smooth and wrinkle free, but as far as a plumping effect goes: it didn't do a thing for me. It does last very long and I like how it makes my lips smooth, so I do use this every now and then. But for that price range, I would rather use a random clear gloss with no 'plumping effect.

Tested: Do Lip Plumping Products Really Work?

Catrice Volumizing Lip Booster - €3,49
I was quite done after testing two lip plumpers from high quality brands that did not plump my lips at all... But I was still curious to try this Essence Volumizing Lip Booster, as it was such a cheap one! It definitely stings my lips a bit and has got a strong menthol smell, but also: a subtle pink shimmery color. I like the color so much that I acutally don't care that it -surprise- does not plump my lips at all. I love this gloss for every day use and I do think it smoothes out my lips. I guess that optically makes your lips look a little plumper? But an actual fuller pout, nope, that didn't happen.

Lip plumpers really don't work. When you think about it, it's just too good to be true. Lip plumping glosses surely can make your lips look smoother and therefore a little fuller, but they will not promote that much blood flow that lips actually increase in size. So my tip would be: don't put those irritating lip glosses on your lips, just overline them a little for a fuller look and top if off with a nice, shiny lip gloss. Or reach out for lip fillers - I've tried that too, which I afterwards didn't like - those are the only option for actual bigger lips.  Share your experience with lip plumping products in the commet section, I'd love to hear what you think.๐Ÿ‘„

My 2nd Liquid Nosejob Experience + Side Effects Warning To Keep In Mind

It's been about 18 months ago that I shared my first experience with a liquid nosejob / non surgical nosejob with you. If you missed it, read all about it here. I remember how hesistant I was about sharing the experience and letting basically anyone who reads the article know that I had this procedure done. Now, when I look back, I am super happy that I shared my story! I've had a few people e-mail me about also getting their insecurity 'fixed' at the same clinic as I went to and that my story really helped them. As happy as I was to hear nothing but positive reactions on that article, I really want to share my story again, but for different reasons. I want to share my honest experience about the second time I got this done and the major side effects I had. 

BLES Magazine is my personal platform where I can share whatever I feel is fun, important or relevant to share. As I had a great first experience with nose fillers, I didn't really think it would be all that different this time. But it was, and as I was kinda desperately searching Google for similar experiences, I realized that there are so little real stories about the side effects of getting fillers injected. So here's my story, so I can hopefully make others aware of the side effects that can occur.

Why I chose a different clinic
With my first liquid nosejob, I chose Velthuis Kliniek (they have a few locations in Holland, I went to the one in Velp). Velthuis Kliniek is known from a tv programme and I immediately felt like they were professional, exclusive and very serious about offering the best service for their patients. For my second time, I went to Faceland Clinics - which are a little less known but they have clinics on way more locations in Holland and a few in Germany and Switzerland. A colleague had a good experience there and told me that they often have fillers on sale. That made me curious so I called and explained that after 20 months of fillers, I wanted to get a touch up. (I first noticed the bump on my nose slightly becoming visible again after 18 months of Juvederm filler). The woman on the phone immediately suggested to book an appointment, while I actually had a few questions. The whole thing felt kinda rushed, as if they just wanted to book the appointment already.

The consult and procedure
Just like with the first clinic, they booked my consult and appointment at the same time. I noticed that the clinic looked a lot less professional, but I thought: as long as the doctor is a pro who knows what he/she is doing, it's fine. The intake was super short, and again, I felt like they were in a hurry to just get the procedure done. I explained that I had this done before and that I was very specific about what I wanted and which filler I wanted - the same Juvederm Volbella as I had used previously. Unlike what I was told over the phone, this filler was not on sale. I was kinda bummed out, because I didn't want to spend that much for just a touch up, as I had counted on a sale. The doctor recommended me to go for the filler Belotero Voluma - of which she assured me that it was pretty much the same as Juvederm - and  that one was on sale. So, I took the gamble to try something new. Also, the doctor could not tell me how long the filler would stay put, whereas during my 1st appointment, the doctors assured me that Juvederm would stay for at least 12 to 18 months and it did. Luckily, I Googled it myself and Belotero should last around 12 months before the body starts to break the filler off enough to need a touch up again.

As soon as I laid down I asked the doctor if she was gonna put some numbing cream on my nose. She said, nope, that's not going to be necessary, because there was numbing product (lidocaine ) in the filler itself. When she started out I initially thought it wasn't too bad, but after the second injection, tears started rolling down my cheeks. Every injection ended with such a nasty stinging pain that I got extremely hot and sweaty, and I had mascara everywhere except on my eyelashes, from the tears running down my face. It was 15 minutes of very unnecessary pain. Of course, prior to my first procedure they applied  a numbing cream. Also, they used a canule, which is a needle with a blunt point that doesn't damage the tissue in the skin as much. Because of that, they can make one injection and move the canule from that point all the way into the areas that need to be injected. This time, they used a regular needle that needed to be inserted in every single area, over and over again. After about 20 seperate injections, we were done and I had 1ml of Belotero injected.

After the procedure... Side effects (swelling, bruising, pain)
Right after I got up out of the chair I was shocked to see what my nose looked like. Thankfully my sister was right beside me the entire time and reassured me that my nose looked good before it started to swell up, but I couldn't see it myself after I checked my reflection in the mirror. It was already so swollen, the shape was just weird. The doctor sat down, filled in some forms and just said it would go away after cooling it that night (I had it done around 8 PM). When I left the clinic it was so red and swollen that I covered my face when walking back to the bus stop. Once I got home, my mother was shocked to see my nose. She said it changed my entire face, and from the swelling I couldn't tell if I was going to like it or not. I cooled it that entire evening and then I went to sleep...

I woke up multiple times during that night from the pain. I noticed the tiny mark of the injection on the tip of my nose started bleeding again. I waited for it to stop, took an ibuprofen and tried to go back to sleep. After a terrible night, I looked in the mirror in the morning and the entire erea from my nose, to my cheeks and upper lip were incredibly sore, swollen en red. I kept on cooling it the entire day and continued to take ibuprofen to ease the pain. That evening, after 24 hours, the tiny injection hole started bleeding again after I had to sneeze. Any pressure on my face from sneezing or coughing (bad timing, I got a cold) caused the injection hole at the tip of my nose to start bleeding again. I reached out to the clinic and they just stated it wasn't too much of a big deal, so I continued the cooling and ibuprofen for that enire night. The next day, after about 36 hours, I noticed  a green-ish hue near my eye, on the height of where the filler was injection at the start of my nose bridge. I was still very swollen and painful.

The final result... Worth it?
I had the procedure done on a Thursday night and my nose finally stopped bleeding on Sunday morning. The swelling and bruising started to go down and as of that Sunday evening, I didn't need ibuprofen anymore. As I am writing this article, it has been 11 days in total and finally the tip of my nose isn't painful anymore, but it is still slightly sensitive and red. I need quite a lot of make up to cover the red spot. Looking back, I think it was the combination of the sharp needle instead of a canule, combined with a different filler than I had before, and the fact that she had to inject at least 20 times instead of once: this caused a completely different reaction that the first time I had this done. I must say: I really like the way my nose turned out, but was it worth it? No, I will never go back to this clinic that does these procedures for stunt prices, with doctors who seem to just want to rush things . Also, I would have wanted them to respect my preference for numbing cream, as the entire procedure ended up being extremely painful.

My tip would be: pick out a professional clinic if you want to get filler injections. If the prices are too good to be true, that should ring alarm bells. (Prices are usually around 200 to 300 euros per 0,5ml). Also: read reviews! I listened to my colleague, who happened to have multiple good experiences. I also let the cheap prices convince me - so I didn't think of reading any reviews online beforehand. Of course, after my procedure I went online to write a review myself and I came across many more negative reviews. With the first clinic I had a positive vibe as soon as I walked through the door, with this clinic it didn't feel 100% reliable... Also keep in mind: even when doctors promise you there will be no down time and you can get filler injections done over lunch break, know that each body can react differently. I guess I'm the expection instead of the rule, but still: this can happen. If you're looking into getting fillers yourself, don't let my story discourage you, just let it be an example of the real risks and side effects that can come along with filler injections. Also make sure to read about my first nose filler experience, as that one went perfectly fine! ๐Ÿ’‹

Thankfully, I like my 'upgraded' nose a lot, but it was quite the experience awaiting the final result...

My 2nd Liquid Nosejob Experience + Side Effects Warning To Keep In Mind