Weekend Friday Favourites

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Covid-19 cases have risen in Catalunya and Barcelona with the regional government closing gyms, amusement parks, clubs, cinemas, leaving open bars and restaurants at 50% capacity, libraries and museums for 2 weeks to stem the spike. My gym and climbing gym rebelled as long as they could arguing that health and fitness are vital essentials that need to remain open. Even the city council was on their side. Sadly they lost and most gyms are now closed until further notice. The zoo held out for as long as possible too, closing on Monday and reopening this Saturday after petitioning to remain open. They say it’s for 15 days, but I think it’ll be longer. Thankfully it’s not a full lockdown, we’re allowed out and shops are open. The only change face masks are mandatory in all public spaces even when we can social distance. 

Anyway, this week’s Weekend Friday Favourites. Things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week.

Dietes Bicolor

Dietes Bicolor Lyon Arboretum, Oahu

Scrolling back through photos to edit for Golden Gate Bridge a flower I took in Lyon Arboretum, Oahu Hawaii stood out. It was the same flower I took at the zoo a few days ealier! After a little research it’s a Dietes Bicolor, a tropical iris native to South Africa! 

Dietes Bicolor Barcelona Zoo

Aloha Collection

On holiday earlier this year in Oahu there’s a chain of shops Sandpeople which sell local art, craft and jewellery that I kept popping into. I kept being drawn to Aloha Collection, a Hawaiian and California brand that specialises in splash proof travel pouches, bags and hip/bum bags. I thought one would be be perfect for the summer stashing a wet bikini. Everything is waterproof bar the zipper and was created with stashing wet swimsuits, easy clean toiletry and make up pouches in mind when travelling that can be multipurpose and protect other items from spillages. The black with yellow hibiscus wasn’t the one I wanted, however I thought being dark coloured would be less likely to get ruined with suncream and from being thrown in a rucksack with everything else. When we got back I couldn’t stop thinking about the mini hibiscus With Love From Paradise X Aloha pouch for a purse and well, first order you get 20% off. They have designs for everyone and I’ve had to blinker myself from the new designs out (especially the new small Lei Lei Orchid prints. Like the blue and green below but in pink and purple and the mini in pink which has sold out 😦 ). None the less, if you want a pretty splash proof lightweight pouch to stashing wet bikinis, or a pouch you can wipe down easily I can’t recommend enough Aloha Collection. They are on the pricey side, but I can see them lasting a long time. The only con I have is print on the mini pouch is beginning to fade. I guess it adds to its character. 

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Beauty Finds: Makeup Sponges: Beautyblender vs Fenty Beauty vs Tarte Cosmetics

The battle of a few cruelty free makeup sponges!

I’m in no way a full face of makeup girl. I use a makeup sponge to apply BB cream or tinted moisturiser and concealer. Just like all the products I use I try to make sure all the beauty tools I use are also from cruelty free, clean ingredient, vegan if possible brands. I know the last 2 aren’t always possible with cosmetics. I also try to go for the lesser plastic packaging brand to help keep my plastic consumption down. I know I could use my fingers to apply products, it’s best I don’t. Brushes I find I don’t get a smooth blended finish and I’m there all day trying to get it streakless.

Beautyblender

I’d been using a Beautyblender for a few years until last year I started not being happy with it and wanting change. I’m not sure if they changed the formula or me using a different product it wasn’t working the same as before. I use makeup sponges damp and leave to air dry. The last 2 Beautyblenders I used weren’t air drying as quickly. I know that towards the end of a foundation or BB cream it doesn’t apply as well but this was happening mid way through a tube with regular cleaning of the sponge. Usually I could get 3 months use out of one until it needs replacing as it seems damp all the time product doesn’t apply as good. I noticed it needed replacing after 2 months. I also noticed as it wasn’t drying as quickly it got faint dark spots I wasn’t sure if were mould or part of the sponge. Also the first few washes so much pink dye came out! Imagine what that dye does to your face and the water system. It also seemed to eat/absorb a lot of product taking forever to wash out. 

Here you can see the fade after about a month of weekly cleaning

As for application I can’t remember. It was okay but I never liked that I couldn’t always get a smooth finish for undereye coverage. Two other reasons why I wanted to switch were it was getting more expensive in Sephora and the packaging for the original pink version went on steroids. Would I buy again, probably no now I know there are others out there. sephora.es €14.95

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Precision Makeup Sponge

I wanted to try Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge for one for two reasons. The price, about €2 cheaper than Beautyblender, it has lesser plastic packaging and I was intrigued by its flat side and top. Would it make a different? Yes! It makes applying and blending or tapping product so much easier! 

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Golden Gate Bridge

All I knew about San Francisco before visiting earlier this year was that it’s hilly, Herbie caused mischief, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, it’s foggy and the fog horns mostly from movies and TV shows.

We wanted to get to Baker Beach which has the best photographic views of the bridge around sunset and got thick January fog instead. That didn’t stop people from still visiting the bridge, running or cycling. It perhaps was the best time to visit to hear infamous fog horns. Horns I recognised immediately thanks to countless movies and TV shows. It was oddly comforting to hear them. There’s even a number you can call up to listen to them! 

Path along top of Baker Beach

Old bunkers at Baker Beach

Please excuse the ISO noise. It was my first time shooting in thick fog.

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Weekend Friday Favourites

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Just as Spain is getting used to the ‘new normal’, the Catalan regional government announced this past Friday that the Barcelona metropolitan area is going into a 15 day voluntary lockdown due to spike in covid-19 infections. Most gyms have been ordered to close although the city council is appealing to keep them open and most are keeping open until further notice. Cinemas, amusement parks, nightclubs are closed. Bars and restaurants have gone to back to 50% capacity. For now the beaches are open and we’re allowed to exercise outside. Face masks are now mandatory outside at all times even if we can social distance. Exceptions under 6’s, breathing difficulties and for exercise. Police can set stop motorists and advise them to return home but can’t fine. 

Anyways, a short and sweet Weekend Friday Favourites this week. The week’s gone a in blur leaving me scratching my head where it went. 

Jade Eye Mask

An Instagram rabbit hole a few months ago lead me to an esthetician’s page where in one of her clients facials she used a jade eye mask. I was thinking it could help when I have migraines. When I get one usually the only thing that will provide pressure release is a dark room with a t-shirt folded lengthways and placed over my eyes like an eye mask. It gives enough weight to kinda press out the pressure. The head spider massager also helps. 

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Beauty Finds: DIY Cocoa Butter and Avocado Oil Body Butter

I mentioned a few weeks ago in a Weekend Friday Favourites I was trying out a DIY body butter and would share the recipe and results. I’m trying to reduce my plastic consumption and am also looking for a more hydrating body lotion. 

Please scroll down for the recipe if you want to skip skin history and the why’s I tried DIY

While I have oily skin, my body always feels dry unless it’s moisturised. I’m not sure if this is because it’s eczema prone so is maybe drier or it’s so used to daily lotion it knows when it needs more. 

I’ve always gone for cocoa butter based lotions due to cocoa butter hydration properties. It’s good against stretch marks and cellulite. For years I used Palmers Cocoa Butter with no issues. I stopped using it as it contains palm oil I try to avoid as I prefer happy orangutangs in rainforests and petroleum or paraffin which I also avoid. Some of the brands other products use shark oil. Being vegan, that’s a no. I used Alba Botanica Hand and Body Lotion Cocoa Butter (now discontinued) until iherb.com stopped shipping to Spain. When they resumed I didn’t want to spend as much on shipping. It’s hard to find in Spain good cocoa butter based lotion so I’ve been compromising. The Body Shop is too expensive for what I get through. I found a great band The Organic Shop and currently use their Bourbon Vanilla Body Mousse, a shea based lotion (ingredients are listed incorrect). However they’re not the same as cocoa butter lotions and I messed my skin up last year with mineral sunscreens. I also find that sometimes The Organic Shop just sits on my skin no matter how much massaging in and feels dry later on. If it’s humid after a shower, it doesn’t seem to massage in at all. In the winter after showering I change back in PJ bottoms for 15 minutes for the lotion to absorb, not my leggings absorbing any. 

By now you guessed I care for the environment. I wanted a reef friendly sunscreen and most are mineral based of zinc or titanium dioxide. After going through several brands, my skin can’t deal with lots of zinc. It’s hard to wash off and it dries my skin out to the point it cracks and is painful. I thought I found one last year that worked with my skin, Freshly Cosmetics Healthy Protection Sunscreen Body Lotion however after using it since May, it’s started to dry my skin out. I thought I found a way to remove mineral sunscreen effectively as soap, coffee and sugar scrubs, dry brushing don’t, with a pumice stone. It does but you have to be careful using it. Back story over, I needed something that would help my skin back to happy. 

The Recipe From A Beautiful Mess

1 cup or 225 grams of cocoa butter

1/2 cup or 64 grams of avocado oil 

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