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Me

My Christmas wishes to you

You may have noticed I didn’t post anything Christmas-related on this blog.

First of all, you’ll all know I don’t post very often anyway (naughty me!), but I also believe there were already so many Christmassy posts – with ‘gift ideas’ etc. – out there that I thought there was no point jumping on the bandwagon!

But this post is different, and it’s my way of wishing you a very Happy Christmas. I’m not the greatest fan of it, I suppose not that many people today see it as the religious celebration it originally was and I fear that people just associate it with packed shops and that pressure of buying gifts for your family, friends and sort-of friends.

I remember a few years ago, while in high school, I told two of my closest friends at the time that I thought we could save ourselves some money, and not bother buying anything for one another. I thought it totally made sense, in times of economic crisis, to save that money and avoid buying something none of us really needed. I can clearly remember how they looked at me – it was as if I had committed heresy! Clearly that wasn’t the outcome I’d hoped for but their presents have outlasted our friendship and they still sit somewhere at my parents’ house under a layer of dust.

Putting that little anecdote to one side. I really hope you’ll all receive what you asked for this Christmas. Above all, however, remember that the greatest gift you’ll ever have is love for yourself. I know it doesn’t sound as exciting as “I got the new iPhone 7”, but if you have it, the world is yours and nothing will compare to it.

Love yourself and love everyone around you, and nothing will ever reach that level. The second greatest gift is to have someone to love and who loves you, whether it’s your parents, your boyfriend or girlfriend, a member of your family or your loyal friends (one good friend is better than many lousy ones).

Also, at the risk of sounding more cynical, New Year’s resolutions tend not to last. A positive change in your life can come at any moment, it doesn’t need to happen on 1 January. But if there’s something new you want to do – to make you feel better or improve you as a person – do it right now. If you have the desire and determination, why not?!

I hope you all have a great festive season, that you get to share some time with all your loved ones and that you’ll find happiness in the simple things as well as what’s under your Christmas tree.

xxx

Silvia

4 Things I loved about Prague
Me Travel

4 Things I loved about Prague (with pics)

I recently went to Prague with my boyfriend for a couple of days. None of us had been there before but both our families had so we knew it could be nice short getaway for us. This was our first proper holiday together, so of course we wanted it to be special. Needless to say we didn’t regret our choice!

I was lucky to find a convenient holiday package with British Airways — I’d never thought to book through them but do check out their offers — which included the flight and a 4-night stay.

Our hotel was amazing and we highly recommend it if it fits your budget (see here). We had a huge breakfast everyday, ample fuel for long walks around the city.

I had read a travel guide prior to leaving so I had a good idea of what would be worth visiting. But as always, it’s good just to walk around and discover new things by yourself.

Prague is relatively small so it’s easy to get to most places on foot. Their public transport is also pretty cheap when compared to most European cities.

Here are some pictures I took and the 4 things I loved the most about the Czech capital. Just a little disclosure: I don’t have great photography skills, so consider these as standard holiday snaps.

The buildings4 Things I loved about Prague

I love architecture and I love looking at old and interesting buildings whenever I go. I often just imagine them being my home and think about what my life would like inside.

Prague has some amazing and elegant buildings, most of which are located in the old Jewish quarter which went from being a more impoverished part of the city to the richest one after being rebuilt in the late 19th century.

There are bits of great architecture all over Prague, of course, you just need to look up while you walk.

Here are some examples. Aren’t they pretty?

 

 

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How cheap the beer is

Prague is fairly cheap and it’s perfect for a holiday on a budget. We knew we were going to take advantage of the fact that the beer is very cheap, I’d say it’s easy to find places which sell Pilsner for less than 2 € for 500ml (or a pint for you Brits), which I’d say is a steal.

There are countless breweries and Czech pubs where you can try different beers and the famous national ones like Budweiser (not the American one though!) or Pilsner Urquell.

I recommend a place called Beer Museum which was fun because you can drink a sample of up to 10 beers from a list of over 30. If you do go to Prague, I’d suggest staying away from the bars in the main squares as they are clearly going to try and rip you off.

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The history

Prague has such an interesting history, and I imagine a lot of people aren’t familiar with it. We chose to go on a walking tour and learned tons of things we didn’t know before or perhaps had just glossed over in school.

There were plenty of opportunities to learn more about the Czech people and about the events that made them who they are today, especially some of the major episodes over the last century. The tales of the Nazi occupation and the Communist era are truly fascinating.

4 Things I loved about Prague

4 Things I loved about Prague

The peace

Even though Prague was packed with tourists, and that is one of the downsides, I felt a sense of peace and I found it to be very relaxed and safe.

We were never out ridiculously late, it’s not the place to go if you want rip-roaring night life, but what I mean is that there isn’t a huge amount of traffic, you’re surrounded by people, and the atmosphere is relatively calm.

I think Prague is a very romantic city and being there with my other half was beyond words. A holiday I’ll never forget.

4 Things I loved about Prague

Have you ever been to Prague? Did you like my pictures?

Wish you all a lovely day!

xx

Silvia

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A post on body hair, epilators and how I deal with it
Me

A post on body hair, epilators, ingrown hair and how I deal with it

Hi everyone,

today I want to talk about a topic which is very dear to me: body hair. Yes, as gross as it may seem to be saying this, we all have body hair, and it is everywhere, isn’t it? Head to toe. I don’t think this kind of topic is often addressed in the beauty community. However, because we women all have to deal with it at some point in our lives, I thought it would be nice to have a little chat about it. Because we all care about it don’t we?

Some women are blessed and don’t have a huge amount to deal with. Perhaps those of you from the land of tall, blonde women! Being from a Mediterranean country, I have to accept having dark body hair, and have done from an early age. It’s something I have thought about for many years. I remember feeling quite down about the fact that my classmates’ legs looked perfectly smooth during gymnastics class and they all seemed to be born that way. They certainly weren’t, but the fact my female friends and I never really spoke about it made me wonder if it was just me who was different. I often wondered how they got rid of unwanted hair, without daring to ask.

Today, being more mature I see it from a different perspective and I don’t spend as much time thinking about it as I did before. I used to think that if I went out with hair on my legs the whole word would have looked at them. Now I know for sure that most people and women really don’t give a damn about how much hair I have on my legs/arms/armpits. To be honest, neither do men! They really don’t care, they will prefer smooth and soft skin — who doesn’t? — but their attention will not be solely focused on the fact that you perhaps haven’t shaved for a couple of days…. Plus, these same men will very likely be 10 times hairier than you!

I’m not suggesting that you should go to your first date on a summery day with your best skirt and your legs “au naturel”, but I’m saying not to be self-conscious about it! Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a while you’ll know that your other half doesn’t expect you do be perfect every single day of your life. Obviously it’s important to take some care in your appearance, but body hair should not obsess you to the point of organizing your life around it (I’ll be honest say that on a number of occasions I have put something off just because my I hadn’t been to a beautician for a while!).

How I get rid of body hair

There are many methods to get rid of unwanted hair, and I’m sure there’s no need to list them. I’ll start by saying that where I live, in Italy, waxing is probably the most common way to do it. We have tons of salons where waxing is fairly inexpensive, at least compared to other countries where it’s probably considered a luxury. Many friends of mine do it every single month and have no problem with it. It usually costs around 25 € for a full leg and bikini line waxing, so it’s not very cheap but certainly not unaffordable. I have waxed my body (including arms, legs, armpits, moustache, Hollywood and Brazilian wax in case you know what they are) many times and love it. I find that my hair grows thinner but on the other hand you have to wait at least three weeks before doing it again and your hair starts growing back after one week, at least in my experience.

So, after waxing for a long time I decided to make the big step and purchase a silk-epil aka the devil’s hand. My Braun silk-epil cost me 90 euros, which may seem a lot, but it’s like three sessions at the beautician, so you are saving a lot in actual fact. I’m a fan of it and mine can be used under the shower too which is great. I’ve had it for two years now and haven’t looked back. I can use it whenever I want as it works with very short hair too. One thing is that you have to put up with the pain, but I’ve got used to it now. As with waxing hair grows weaker and thinner after using it consistently and my leg hair is now quite soft, like a cuddly toy!

The reason why I’m not of fan of shaving is not only do I often cut myself, but I don’t like the fact that its effects are so short-lived.  I do not want to be doing that every day! It works for many people, however. It’s also very inexpensive and painless which is why I think it is very popular, especially among those who are not too hairy. As mentioned before I don’t see myself as fitting into that category, though my beautician reassures me, telling me the opposite.

I also want to mention that, a couple of years ago, I underwent hair removal with intense pulse light technology on my bikini line (sorry if that’s too much information). I had around 10 sessions of it but I was naughty and didn’t completely follow the advice I was given. You should not epilate while you’re doing the treatment and should just let the hair grow until it naturally falls out (it literally falls because the light weakens the hair follicles, meaning the hair stops growing back). Because of this I still have hair in that area but they are thin. The IPL also helped me with all the spots and ingrown hair I used to get there after waxing. I still wax down there, but don’t get any zits afterwards. I suppose if I had been more consistent with it I would have got a better result. It’s painless and lasts a minute or so for the whole area. It’s not super expensive if you only do it on a small part of your body, but it is if you want to do something like your entire legs or arms.

How I get my skin ready for it

I am prone to ingrown hairs, that means that the hair curls back and doesn’t grow normally. I’ll most likely have them for the rest of my life but, a good way to avoid them is to exfoliate. Exfoliating should be done regularly but not too much as over-exfoliating can lead to ingrown hair too. I like dry brushing my whole body every two days (more or less) and doing a good scrub a day before epilating. You can find tons of different scrubs on the market but if you want to save money and still get a super effective one you can follow my recipe.

I just mix ground coffee with olive oil (or almond oil, or any oil you have), I don’t know the exact proportions but you want it to be quite oily, so it glides well on your skin. You can use it both on dry skin or damp skin. It works amazingly and does a great job. It only really gets your shower dirty but I think it’s worth a try and I always go back to it.

Another good scrub that I find very effective is the Breakfast Scrub from Soap&Glory. I find that other scrubs on the market are usually not harsh enough for me. As always, depending on your skin you’ll have different needs and tolerance. The skin on my body is not too sensitive so I like a good intense scrub.

I hope you liked this post! I’d love to know your thoughts on the topic and look forward to reading about your respective experiences. How do you deal with body hair? Do you use a scrub? Let me know in the comments, it’s nice for us to share our thoughts.

Have a lovely day!

xoxo

Silvia

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Scented water for summer
Health Me

My mum’s scented water for summer

Hi everyone!

Because it’s summer here in the Northern Hemisphere and because in Italy it’s bloody hot, I decided to share with you the scented water my Mum has been making lately. We all know how important it is to drink water non-stop, so I will not bore you with this, as I’m sure this is already engrained in everyone’s mind!

This recipe is super-easy and you just need three ingredients, plus water of course. You can make it in the morning and drink it through the day. It’s also a nice healthy drink, because lemon, ginger and mint help with your digestive system. That in turn helps to burn fat faster.

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You will need:

  • Around a litre of water
  • Fresh mint leaves (the more the better)
  • The juice of one lemon
  • Fresh peeled ginger (a few cubes)

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How to do it

First you have put the water in a pot to boil. When it’s boiling add the peeled-ginger pieces. Let it boil for around 15 minutes.

Once the 15 minutes is up, you can let it cool down for a while. Then take the ginger out and pour the water in in a big jar or in a big plastic bottle. You can now add the mint leaves and the lemon juice.

After it has cooled down fully (it will take a while!) you can put it in the fridge, leaving the mint leaves in so the water can really take on their flavour.

Et voilà, this scented water is ready to be enjoyed and provide a bit of refreshment on a boiling hot day.

 

I hope you have a great day and that you enjoyed reading this.

Let me know if you decide to give it a try, I’ll be flattered!

xoxo

Silvia

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Me

A beginning

Hello my lovely reader,

I’m glad you came here!

Let me introduce myself. My name is Silvia, I’m 21 years old and as you can see this is the very first post on this blog. It feels weird to be writing this…but let me tell you, a dream is coming true for me today!

I have always been passionate about beauty and cosmetics. I grew up seeing my mum buying expensive creams to put on, dedicating some to time every night to taking off her makeup and looking after her skin (I must say, she does have very good skin now). I remember going to her cabinet while she was away to have a look at the things she bought. She always had something new, so that she would never have to go without one of her products. I used to enjoy touching the new items, still wrapped in the plastic packaging, and sneaking a peek. It goes without saying, I still do it when I’m at home.

I hope this blog will be a place where I can let my creativity out and share with you my thoughts on beauty products, my favourite places, books and –  why not – life itself.

I wish you a happy visit to TheSkinCabinet!

Have a great day!

xxx

Silvia