Bye October, Hello November – a Beta Run of the A&W Newsletter.

(This post was intended as the first ever A&W newsletter. As my time management skills would have it, though, the content was written, but the subscription box was never set up. So no one would have received it. Not that it’s a masterpiece, but it made sad. So there you go, zero issue of the A&W newsletter, in a blog post form.)

Here’s an Idea

This November I’ll be doing a ‘phone as a phone’ challenge (which probably needs a catchier name…). The idea is to use my phone as, well, a phone and nothing more. I will have predefined sessions for Instagram, Twitter, and some apps that I use for tracking various parts of my existence, but throughout the day I will only use my phone as a phone. No other apps. An exception would be Viber communication with my brother, who lives a thousand miles away. No mindless browsing, idle texting, silly searches or endless Pinterest sessions.

I’ll share my results and thoughts on the challenge in the next month’s newsletter. Anyone wants to join me?

Lovely Links & Things

The Nostalgia Machine

8 Books to Read Before You See the Movies This Fall

Nudes Are Old News at Playboy

Media & Social

martian people shop

This month I’ve been slack with my reading. The only thing I finished was The Martian, and that was on audio. Other than that I’ve been wrestling with Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop (free on Gutenberg) and Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend either of these three at the moment.

Next month I plan on reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (finally), The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, and All the Light We Cannot See.

alice monk light

You can follow my literary adventures (*eyeroll*) on Goodreads.

In telly news, I resumed watching Castle and Bones (both kinda lacklustre, but still keep the momentum going) and gave Friends a go for the first time. Stuck at the end of the second season, and not exactly sure I want to go on.

I started a #100happydays challenge on Twitter! Every day (well… kinda) for 100 days I’m posting a picture of something that made me happy. It’s been insightful, but not in terms of happiness. I’ll share my thoughts at the end, which will be in January.

This Month’s Top Posts

According to Google Analytics, these are the posts you folks loved most this month. Interesting, heh. Should I bring the Incoming! feature back, then? I started it and then immediately killed it, but perhaps I was wrong. Let me know what you think!

Incoming! December
Two Nivea Products
#100empties: Mascara, Toner, and Two Creams
Lip Monthly April

You May Have Missed

This month I started The Purge. I have a lot of space, which should really be a bragging matter, but for me it’s mostly an embarrassment, because about 85% of it are cluttered up the wazoo. I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself a minimalist, but I’m certainly not a hoarder. The flat paints another picture, unfortunately. I’ve been getting rid of things like crazy, and documenting parts of it here on the blog.

I’m also on a mission to catch up with Lip Monthly posts. June is scheduled to go up on Monday. Stay tuned!

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit patriotic, which is unusual for me. I want to start sharing more posts about the country that I live in. I’m already doing this in the Weekend Exploration series, but perhaps there’s something else you’d like to see and learn about Moldova besides my weekend trips? Let me know in the comments.


In November I’ll be writing about my top autumn lipstick picks, Orhei adventures, a mini Inglot haul, and some skincare items. There’s also a post about a cheap but lovely scent I’ve been wearing a lot recently.

november editorial

I’ve been working on expanding my blogging schedule and switching from posting every other day to posting two days in a row with a one day break between these short streaks. However I have once again overfilled my schedule with other things, so we’ll see if I manage to pick up a solid every other day editorial calendar. Looks good so far, but it’s all drafts.

If you enjoyed this pseudo-newsletter, please feel free to subscribe below. I’ll be sending the November one next month, and it will no longer appear on the blog. This was a haphazard beta version, and the future ones will have more content.


* indicates required

(This post contains affiliate links.)

FOTD #3: Matte Skin, Grape Lips.

fotd 3

One of these days I’m going to find a flattering selfie angle, and actually share photos of the result. For now, lookie how I arrange them products on lined paper, eh. Eh, eh?!


  • Foundation – Oriflame Matte Control Foundation
  • Face Powder – IsaDora Perfect Loose Powder
  • Concealer – Bourjois 123 PERFECT CC EYE CREAM

A discontinued version of the Oriflame Matte foundation. I swear, Oriflame‘s been rebranding like there’s no tomorrow. It’s an OK foundation with medium coverage, but I’m just not sure. When it comes out of the tube, it’s a bit on the yellow/ grey side, which makes me all giddy inside. Yes, I said grey, and yes, giddy. But when you apply it and it oxidises a bit, it a) becomes about a tone darker than in the tube; b) loses all the yellowness and greyness and goes pink. And I do not need pink undertones in my face makeup, nuh uh.

Why am I suddenly accenting about every other word with italics?

Moving on.

The concealer I used for undereye only. I wish it were a lighter shade. It’s an OK concealer, but I don’t think I’d be repurchasing it.


  • Eyeshadow Primer – Artdeco pure minerals Mineral Eyeshadow Base Sensitive
  • Inglot AMC Shine 49
  • Oriflame The ONE Colour Impact Cream Eye Shadow Petroleum Shine 30748
  • Oriflame The One Colour Match Eye Shadow Duo in Brown 30970
  • Avon Hollywood quad
  • Mascara – Oriflame HyperStretch Mascara
  • Oriflame Eyelash Curlers

Inglot was used all over the lid. It’s one of my favourite eye shadows ever. The Colour Impact Cream Eye Shadow is beginning to dry around the edges a little bit, I need to use it more often. It doesn’t last particularly long on the lid, so that limits my ability to wear it, especially since it’s such a deep shade of green. The brown duo doesn’t last long as well, but it’s a pretty neutral shade, so I wear it more often. I used the lightest colour in the Avon Hollywood quad in the inner corners of my eyes.

In all honesty, the colours looked much better together in my head. It worked, but it wasn’t exactly what I was going for.


  • Relouis pencil
  • Avon Hollywood quad

Now that I used the lightest shade in the quad for the brow bone (not like I haven’t before, but you know), I keep thinking that the matte brown might work for brows themselves. I’m one of those lucky people who don’t need a lot of filling in or drawing, but it’s still good to give a few strokes here and there just to even things out, especially if you’ve got a full face of makeup going on.


  • Oriflame Lip Impact Deep Berry 26573

This is the discontinued version of the Oriflame lip crayons. They have since then released the new ones that you don’t have to sharpen (yay), but I’m not sure what they’ve done to the formula. I’m going to try one soon and report on that.

I was going to do a separate post for each and every crayon I own, because I just love lip crayons like I used to love the damn Crayolas when I was a kid. This is a deep grape colour that’s perfect for autumn.

The Purge: Nail Polishes, part 2 of 235.

beauty skin glamour nail polish 04

Beauty Skin Glamour Nail Polish 04

A neon orange that is unfortunately too sheer. It went on relatively smoothly, but I find the formula in the majority of the Beauty skin polishes I tried to be on the thick side.

beauty skin glamour nail polish 68

Beauty Skin Glamour Nail Polish 68

A shimmery silver that is too sheer as well. More of a top coat, to be honest. My search for a good, solid no-sheer metallic silver continues. (Don’t even get me started on the mirror effect/ chrome polish.)



golden rose paris 87

Golden Rose Paris 87

A nice pink coral that is quite good for summer. However, it applies patchy and goes on sheer. Not sure if you’re beginning to see a pattern here… Overall I really like Golden Rose polishes, but the Paris collection was my least favourite one.

leydi nail polish 107

Leydi Nail Polish 107

Once upon a time I had an obsession with green polishes. I bought them in epic quantities. They joined me from all walks of life. With time, though, my polish tastes solidified, and this one became too shimmery.

Overall, though, I really like Leydi polishes. They’re very cheap, but also good.

pacific gabrini provitamin 129

Gabrini Cosmetics Pacific Provitamin 129

A neon jelly. I used it a few times, but — I’m getting repetitive here, bear with me for two more sentences — it was sheer. I just can’t get over the sheerness, and I’m only now realising it. Unfortunately you can’t always see it in the bottle, so with time I’ll go through another batch of too sheer polishes. Plenty left in my collection, too.

Today’s Scent: Guy Laroche Fidji.

guy laroche fidji

When I read reviews of Guy Laroche Fidgi on Fragrantica, it’s all summer, beaches, palms, and all other islandy fun. After all, the fragrance is called Fidgi.

For me, however, this is a late autumn to winter scent, and it’s also very grandmotherly. As in, it’s one of my grandmother’s favourite perfumes, so I associate it with her and with long evenings and newspaper reading and family gatherings in the living room.

My use of Guy Laroche’s Fidji is more sentimental rather than pure personal enjoyment. Grandmother wasn’t a huge perfume wearer, so I can pretty much remember all the occasions she used it on. Occasions is a wrong word, though, — sometimes she’d just have a day where she’d decide to wear perfume.

It’s a very homey and grown-up perfume for me. I wear it occasionally, but I don’t think it particularly suits me. The bottle I have is rather weathered – it belonged to my late grandmother, actually. There’s not much left, as you can see. I will use it up and keep the bottle for personal reasons — and also because I’m a hoarder who keeps empty perfume bottles, because they are all pretty, oh so pretty.

Definitely a warm, grown-up scent.

Read other perfume-themed posts here.

#100empties: a Mascara, a Toner, and Two Creams.

b v camomile face toner

Bielita B&V Camomile Face Toner

Bielita is a Belorussian brand.

This is one of the toners that you forget about under the slew of other similar products, but would come back to once you stumble upon a reminder of some sorts. It worked fine. It didn’t dry my skin, yet left me with a fresh feeling. Didn’t break me out like a lot of other face toners do. The scent is neutral. For its price I say it’s a good product. Will probably repurchase once I run out of my current one.

maybelline falsies mascara volum express flare

Maybelline the Falsies Volum’ Express Flared Mascara

I liked the brush, especially the side that you use to create the ‘flare’, but the mascara was so-so. It wouldn’t last on my eyes for more than 6 hours (actually a common problem with Maybelline mascaras), and when it was new, it was too wet, but then when it dried a bit, it quickly became too crumbly. The volume it gave was great, but everything else just outweighs this positive side.

Read other mascara reviews and notes here.

barkhatnie ruchki

Barkhatnye Ruchki Nourishing Hand Cream

With shea butter, avocado oil, and provitamin B-5. A good quickly absorbing hand cream. Requires frequent reapplication – but then again, I’ve never met a hand cream that doesn’t require a reapplication after hand washing.

I would probably repurchase this one again as this is a quality product with a merciful price tag, but the scent — which is pleasant — just brings too many memories, so I might pass.

avon anew eye cream

AVON Anew Vitale Eye Gel Cream

I ended up using this one as a hand cream. My eyes would sting ten seconds after the application. It felt smoothing and looked like it evened out the skin colour under your eyes, but it’s not so much what it did as how it’s made. It’s just the texture of the product. This Avon eye cream has some kind of a shimmer/ micro-glitter in it that you can’t really see when it’s applied. So it acts like a light diffuser and brightens the area a little bit, but the effect is not long-lasting. It was relatively nourishing though, as it made my hands feel less dry, but I can’t recommend it for the eye area.

4 (+7) down; 89 to go.

Read all other posts in the #100empties challenge here.