Not too long ago, the New York-based jewellery brand AUrate caught my attention, amongst other because of their recently launched Holiday Collection including different earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings.

I was very intrigued by the idea behind the brand: "Women shouldn't have to choose between high quality, fair pricing and doing good." I couldn't agree more with that, which is why I made it my personal mission to spread the message about them and introduce them to you.

The message is basically that you get what you pay for and, considering the highly qualitative materials that they use for their production (that's based in New York as well), I feel like the prices are justified.

The New Holiday Collection is a mix of edgy statement earrings, geometrical rings that are ideal for layering and decent necklaces and bracelets. The Sensu part of the collection reveals the Japanese traditional dances to be one of the main influences. Just as the dance genre, the pieces are very elegant and easy to combine, yet untypical and intriguing because of their complex structure.

I decided to incorporate a few of the pieces into a little lookbook. The main idea was, on the one hand, to show how jewellery can elevate and change the vibe of a whole outfit; on the other hand, to demonstrate that black-and-white outfits don't always have to be 'boring' or 'uncreative'.

Play with textures, add a pop of colour to your lips or even better, some statement earrings and a pair of sunglasses and you're good to take over the streets of New York! (... or London, in my case)

Leather Dress by Karen Millen via www.karenmillen.com
Striped Shirt by Splendid via www.net-a-porter.com
Studded Boots by Givenchy via www.luisaviaroma.com
Bucket Bag by Danse Lente via www.shop.harpersbazaar.com
Fiddler Cap via www.hats.com
Cat Eye Sunglasses via www.gamiss.com
Earrings and Ring by AUrate New York via www.auratenewyork.com (earrings) and www.auratenewyork.com (ring)

Cashmere Jumper by Chloe via www.farfetch.com
Faux Leather Culottes by MSGM via www.theoutnet.com
Sandal Booties by Sophia Webster via www.sophiawebster.com
Crossbody Bag by Gamiss via www.gamiss.com
Leather Beret by Eugenia Kim via www.net-a-porter.com
Sunglasses by Gucci via www.ssense.com
Earrings and Ring by AUrate New York via www.auratenewyork.com (earrings) and www.auratenewyork.com (ring)

Mesh Top by Sans Souci via www.sanssoucistores.com
'Adult-ish' Bustier Top via www.etsy.com
Wide-legged Cotton-Denim Jeans by MM6 Maison Margiela via www.italist.com
Cut-out Boots by Balenciaga via www.balenciaga.com
Backpack by Fendi via www.kirnazabete.com
Leather Beret by Witchery via www.witchery.com.au
Cat Eye Sunglasses by Moda Operandi, similar ones here www.asos.com
Earrings, Necklace and Bracelet by AUrate New York via www.auratenewyork.com (necklace), auratenewyork.com (bracelet) and www.auratenewyork.com (earrings)




Back when I was at home in Odessa, Ukraine over the Christmas break, I went to see a cosmetologist for a facial treatment. As I've already mentioned in my 5 Goals for 2018 post, I plan on focusing more on skincare than on makeup this year so I thought a deep cleansing facial would be the best way to start it off. Well, that was a fail. Not only did the woman traumatise my skin to a point that it was red and all swollen up, but I also had some sort of burn all over it. I can not even explain how itchy and weird it felt, and I truly hope that you never have to experience something like that - it's really not fun. 

Anyway, my skin calmed down a bit after a week, but it was drier than ever. So when Maryia, who works as a cosmetologist in Odessa as well, recommended me the ALEX COSMETIC Clear Mask, Clear Cream and Royal BB Cream, I couldn't resist and got all three products.

The series was created specifically for sensitive, acne-proned skin that needs hydration, oil-control as well as some help with combatting acne and any skin inflammation. The products are not the cheapest, which is why I thought it might be helpful to give my first impressions on them and make regular updates on how I get along with them so that you can decide whether or not it might be worth investing for you.

ALEX COSMETIC Clear Cream, 29

What it promises ...

"Targeted control for the different needs of oily, impure skin. Bisabolol, Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Oil keep impurities from spreading. Panthenol and Allantoin soothe and comfort skin. Urea and Vitamin C & E provide skin with nutritive care. Cream is absorbed quickly, revealing a mattifying effect and a fresh look."

My first impression ... 

I've been using this for about 2 weeks now and have been highly impressed so far. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the scent (it is definitely reminiscent of the Tea Tree Oil), it doesn't bother me when I apply it onto my skin as the scent fades away immediately. The texture is quite thick and feels moisturising on the face, but without leaving a greasy film. At first, I was quite afraid to apply it to the dry areas on my face because it's supposed to be "mattifying" as well, which indeed is the case, but, to my astonishment, it soothed my irritated skin and eliminated any dry patches within the first few uses. I apply it twice every day and find that it's a great makeup base as well as a soothing and repairing nighttime moisturiser. 

ALEX COSMETIC Clear Mask, 28

What it promises ...

"Absorbs superfluous sebaceous secretions and helps skin impurities abate quicker. Calms, moisturizes and normalizes skin functions."

My first impression ...

As recommended, I use the mask twice a week and leave it on for about 20 minutes each time. Similar to the Clear Cream, the Clear Mask has quite a strong plant-based scent which disappears as soon as it is applied to the skin though. So far, I really love how soothing it is. My skin feels more hydrated which is everything I ask for at the moment. Nonetheless, I have to say that I haven't seen any change in terms of impurities after using it. Maybe, I haven't tried it out enough yet; maybe, it really doesn't help a lot with that - we shall see.

ALEX COSMETIC Royal BB Cream, 37

What it promises ...

" A synergistic complex of ingredients (Argan Oil Ceramide 3, Licorice and Vitamins C & E) supplies continuous hydration, regenerates and brightens. Smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Protects skin against environmental aggressors and offers full-spectrum UV protection. For a flawless finish and a radiant tone."

My first impression ...

With a price point of 37€ for a 30ml tube, this is by far the most expensive product out of the three. Yet, I have to say that it's also the one that impressed me the most so far. I applied it to my skin, even when it still was red, burnt and itchy from the facial and I felt an immediate relief. My skin hurt and burnt less after applying it. I love the decent smell and the thick consistency. It offers a great coverage and makes my skin look brighter and fresher without adding any supplemental oil to it. Overall, I'm pretty sure that this one is the biggest winner out of the three, until now at least.



Do you know those days where life just hits you with inexplicable cruelty and without any warning? It happens to us all I guess. Well, today was such a day for me and many other people.

"At this age, we are immortal." A friend of mine used to say this sentence quite often and it stuck with me ever since I heard it for the first time. Especially on days like these, I feel like we get reminded that life can be over within seconds, that today can be our last day on earth, no matter how young and healthy we are.

I'm not one to believe in fade usually, but how do you explain the inexplicable otherwise? People always talk about how life just starts when you hit your 20s. But for some of us, it's not a new beginning - it's the end. The end of a life full of adventures, a life dear to so many.

It didn't feel right to post about first impressions of skincare products on a day like this. But it felt wrong not to say anything at all. Everything I'm trying to say is life is freaking short, shorter than we realise. Don't waste it, not a single second. Be grateful for every day, for every second that you spent with your beloved ones, for every memory that you create.

My thoughts are with your family, friends and everybody who was lucky enough to have known you.

Rest in peace.



She's the most beautiful and secure person that you'll ever meet. She can enlighten the room by just walking in. "Words are superfluous for a first impression - attitude is everything.", is her motto. She's the most inspiring and wisest person in my life. She's the funniest, grown-up child on this planet - kind of like Peter Pan, she seems to refuse to grow up completely.

She drives me on. Sometimes, I'm not gonna lie, she drives me crazy. But at the end of the day, without her, I wouldn't exist nor survive.

If you would ask 100 kids to describe their relationship to their mum, I doubt that there would be even one single person that sees their mum the way I see mine, which is really sad actually. The bond between us goes far beyond her only having giving me birth 21 years ago. She's my best friend and the only person I would trust with my life, simply because I know that what she holds the dearest is me. 

My mum has always supported me, no matter what. If she considered my actions shit, she would go crazy at home, but outside of those protected four walls, she would defend my ideas and actions nonetheless. And believe me when I say, I didn't make it always easy for her.

I know it sounds cheesy but I guess that one of the reasons why I'm the person I am today is that I always knew (or at least felt) that no matter what I did, she stood behind me and would protect me from any backlash or, in some cases, even clear the way for me. She always believed in me and gave me the chance to realise myself the way I wanted to, even if it wasn't what she had planned for me. We can all agree that there's a huge difference between my dream of becoming a Fashion Journalist and her plan of being a lawyer, but even though my chosen path wasn't at all what she dreamed of for me, she made sure I would get the chance to move to London and prove that this is what's best for me, no matter how hard it was for her to let go of her little girl.

Another thing I admire about her is how she can put other's interest before her own, first and foremost mine. She often would say that people shouldn't have kids if they aren't ready to dedicate their lives to them. And even if many people consider that to be a very radical approach, I can say out of personal experience that I consider myself very lucky that that's exactly what she did since ever and probably forever.

Growing up, I never really thought about stuff like this. For me, this was everything a given. I would take her and everything she did for me for granted. It was only over the last couple of years that I came to the conclusion that I'm a goddam lucky child, for many parents live for themselves in the first place or don't have such close, trustful friendships to their kids. But from what I learned, children don't need you to be only their parent - they need you to be their friend and confidence person. Somebody once told my mum that she envies her for not needing friends. "You can talk to your mum and daughter about everything and you know that they would never gossip, judge or share your secrets with the world.", she said. And she was right. We really don't need anybody primarily to survive except for us which I consider being a true blessing.

I'm not enough independent? Maybe. I'm too spoilt. Probably. But I see anything bad in that and was lucky enough to grow up with a mum that would literally do everything for me, for which I shall always be grateful. Thank you mum, for everything that you've done for me. I'll pay you back at some point, I promise.




Let's retrospect a bit! One of the first posts on this blog was an outfit post entitled "Confessions of a Shopaholic" which featured a pair of trousers that I had just bought at the time. It has been over a year now, and guess what? I'm still obsessing over those same trousers, which made me think that it could be quite interesting to post an outfit post with them again. Personally, it was really interesting to see how my style has evolved in this short year. Doing stuff like this always proves to me that people are right when they say that even though we don't see any differences in our life on a day-to-day basis but looking back on it, we see that basically nothing is the same as it was. Fascinating, isn't it?

I'm not gonna lie, this pair of trousers were quite an investment back then and I had to think twice if I really needed them. Eureka isn't the cheapest brand out there but their quality is amazing and, you know, they call it 'falling in love' for a reason: you can't really help it. From time to time, I like to invest in a bit more high-priced pieces that I know will accompany me for a long time to come. These are one example of it, and me writing about them in 2018 (... this will take me a few months again to get used to) is probably proof enough - no need to say more.

I love how versatile they are. I still love to wear them with a T-Shirt, some sneakers and a nice leather jacket as I did in my first post, but for this time around, I really wanted to try to style them up a bit. The monochrome colour palette makes it really easy to combine them with practically everything you have in your wardrobe. I really wanna experiment a little bit with colour with them, but so far, I only went for the black-and-white options, which I don't even consider to be that boring, thanks to the checked print of the trousers and the different textures within this one outfit.

Jumper - - -  Angelo
Trousers - - - Eureka
Coat - - - Elisabetta Franchi

Sock Heels - - - Zara
Ring - - - Swarowski
Clutch - - - Elisabetta Franchi
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