Cups & Roses is back!

I just wanted to let you know that Cups & Roses is back! An update post will come your way this week to fill you up with all the details you missed the last couple of months. In the meantime, you can browse around to catch up with the old content and take a peek of the redesigning progress so far!

the march bracelet

Did you know? The 'March Bracelet' is an old greek tradition (also seen in Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Moldova), which is made by twisting red and white threads and it has to be worn throughout the month of March. This bracelet is supposed to 'protect children from sun burns' and also from the 'evil eye'. Nowadays it's more of a happy tradition that all ages follow and this is where you can get creative! This year I decided to add a gold thread too and also a purple 'eye' instead of the classic blue!

Have you heard about the March Bracelet? Will you wear it too?

an ode to lip pencils

Do you remember that time when lip pencils were used only for lining and no filling at all? Yeah, me too... The 90's went by with interesting music and inelegant fashion that almost left a love/hate relationship with lip pencils in general. They seem to quickly come back though, in form of lip crayons just to remind us that even pencils can be used as lipsticks after following two simple steps: lining & filling. Using a lip balm underneath or on top, you can definitely give the impression of wearing a lipstick and let me tell you that a lip pencil is even better. Its sharp end corrects and defines your lip shape in detail, while the matte formula will stay on for hours. It also saves you time and money since you won't have to find the right pencil shade to match your favourite lipstick; it's already a 'does it all' product!

The Nude  |  Mac Boldly Bare

The Brown Nude  |  L'Oreal Contour Parfait in Barely Brown

The Natural Rose  |  Maybelline Colour Sensational in Velvet Beige

The Plum  |  Seventeen Supersmooth in No 08 Cranberry

The Red  |  Radiant Softline in No 12 Dark Red

Are you bringing the lip pencil trend back?

fruits noirs by Yves Rocher

Can you already tell that I'm in love with berry scents? I literally adore whatever ends in 'berry'- yes even Burberry!, and it must be the fruity scent that excites me. After sharing my thoughts on my favourite Sephora Bath & Body products, it was about time I gave credit to another great shower gel, that looks and smells incredible. This post is dedicated to Yves Rocher Blackberries Exfoliating Shower Gel that makes your shower almost bloom with the blackberry scent. What makes it even special is all the little kiwi seeds that contains, which will gently exfoliate and nourish your skin while showering, leaving it smooth afterwards. It's a 2-in-1, especially for lazy girls like me, who never spend their time on body scrubs. Sadly, it's already over, but it's a shower gel worth purchasing over and over again!

Have you ever tried any Yves Rocher Shower Gel?

shadow basics * the neutrals

If I had to use one single palette for the rest of my life, it would be the Ultra 32 Shade in Flawless by Makeup Revolution. Now this is a product I talk about a lot since I got it last summer and there is a great reason for it. It's also a palette that sadly got lost in the way among other amazing palettes that this brand has to offer and it definitely deserves full recognition. It contains a huge range of buttery, pigmented shades, mattes and shimmers and my goal is to guide you through its possibilities, for shadow beginners or even experts!

Base Shades  |  The ones that aim to create an even base, diffuse any lid discolouration or add a hint of colour to brighten your eyes.

Paper: Yellow based matte shade

Soft Glow: Rose based matte shade

Uncover: Rose based shimmer shade

Barely Pink: Intense Pink shimmer shade

Shimmer Heart: Pink shade with silver sparkle

Enhancing Shades  |  The ones that make your eyes pop with minimum effort due to a slight shimmer.

Buff: Light Grey shimmer shade

Unlimited: Light Taupe shimmer shade

Brew: Light Purple shimmer shade

Lowlite: Taupy Silver shimmer shade

Matte Shades  |  Basic and versatile shades that can be used all over the lid, as a wash of colour, as a crease colour to give dimension or as a liner.

Raw: Grey Brown matte shade

Almost There: Soft Brown matte shade

Smudge: Medium Brown matte shade

Night: Black matte shade

Will you try this palette?

inspired by * winter blues

STEP 1. Start with a primer and using a fluffy brush, apply the Savage Rose shadow as a base all over the lid, up to your crease, to help us blend and intensify the next shadow. Follow with Satin Taupe all over the lid, stopping right below your crease.

STEP 2. With a dense shadow brush, apply the Stormy Blue shadow on top and also on your bottom lash line for a smoked effect.

STEP 3. With an angled brush, apply gel liner really close to your upper lash line, curl your lashes and then add mascara.


Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre

Max Factor Shadow Pot in Savage Rose, Stormy Blue

Mac Satin Taupe

Oriflame Giordani Gold Volume Delight Mascara

What do you think about layering shadows?

my skincare routine * winter edition

Let's talk skincare, shall we? I've been willing to share my skincare routine for the colder months for a really long time and to be honest, I've been constantly putting it off, mainly because I tend to switch the turn and way I use the same products, according to my skin's needs. Most of the time, I stick to handmade, natural products, with some extras that you are surely familiar with!

#1 The Morning Ritual | Right after waking up, the first thing I always do to start my day is to make myself a cup of Green Tea. Then it's time to use a cleanser and what I've been loving for the past two years is the Nat Lab Mint Soap that contains mint, seeds of  flax, sesame, sunflower and rosemary to deeply cleanse and freshen up your face. Sometimes through the week, I follow up with the Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky-Clean Scrub, a gentle exfoliator that can be totally used for everyday when dealing with breakouts. Last step, a Handmade Moisturiser from the pharmacy (Φαρμακείο Δέσποινα Χρυσαφίδου, Στουρνάρη 25, Αθήνα) that is based on ancient treatments using natural ingredients only. I use it religiously for two years now and what I love about it is that you can also customise it to your needs. For me, it's suitable for acne prone/oily skin and it's made with propolis, geranium, lemon and bergamot, leaving skin hydrated, while working on those spots. For my greek readers, if you live in Athens. I totally recommend it!

#2 The Night Ritual | Till now, I was following the exact same steps with my morning routine, but lately I had the chance to try the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and I must say that so far so good! From the moment I used it along with the muslin cloth that comes together, I noticed a big difference on the texture and general feel of my skin. The cleanser is a little weird to use at first, especially if you are used to foamy ones, like me. It contains natural active ingredients like beeswax, hops extract, cocoa butter, eucalyptus, rosemary and chamomile essential oils, and it feels like you're applying a thick cream on dry skin until it sinks in; then rinse the cloth under hand hot water, whipping off the product, repeat and splash face with cool water as a last step. My skin is a lot smoother than before, always feeling hydrated, with no breakouts for the longest time. I also have to add that I use the muslin cloth in the morning too and it definitely is a star as it gently removes dead skin cells while taking off any make up or dirt residues. Overall, I'm so impressed with this duo, even though I can't really tell how these products miraculously work!

#3 For Make Up Days | Before applying my make up, I always need an extra moisturising filter underneath, acting as a primer to keep the look fresh throughout the day. The Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream has been a trusty choice for almost a year now; it's a basic product that does the job, without being a heavy duty cream though... My top skincare discovery of the last couple of months has to be the Garnier Hydra Match for Dry Skin; there's nothing not to love about it and I must confess that I swear by it, even though I have normal/combination skin! As a finishing touch after make up is applied, I use the Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist, which smells like roses and brings the whole look together. In the end of the day, I remove my make up with the Erre Due Refreshing Cleansing Water, an amazing water-based product enriched with bamboo extract and provitamin B5 that takes off every trace of foundation, even stubborn mascara, leaving your skin clean and fresh. 

motivation on the go

The Basics BloglovinInstagramTwitterPinterestDropbox

All the right places to find new blogs and keep up with lots of posts, communicate and share, get inspired and motivated. Also, Dropbox is the ultimate way to have all your files secure in one place that connects your pc with your phone!

For Photo Editing | VSCO Cam

For a really long time I was only using this application to edit all of my photos, see filter T1, a little bit of brightness, contrast and that was pretty much it!

For Ideas Online | Asana

I fell in love with it back in December and never looked back since. I tried almost any To-Do application available and nothing seemed to work as good as this one! This is where I organise my posts for the coming months and writing lists that you can see separately in a calendar. It's also really convenient as you can keep notes on every single item in your list. So, when the mood strikes, I create post lists, beauty/fashion wishlists or any ideas in general.

For Ideas Offline Google Keep

Even though I'm loyal to Asana, the fact that you need internet connection to use it, doesn't always work for me. Keep is the one to write down quick notes, random tasks, anything you need to remember and do on a daily basis.

For Your Break | BlendokuDots

I used to enjoy Dots when I first discovered it, but Blendoku is something else. If you love colours, you should definitely check this out, it's perfection!

The Extras | 8tracksCoffitivityZara

A little bit of music, a little bit of fashion browsing... 8tracks allows you to find a million playlists according to your mood, for me it's all that jazz. Literally. You can listen my favourite playlist here is well known for playing background sounds, creating the atmosphere of a coffee shop or a library, to keep you motivated. Zara, no words here, just visit and fill your basket, it's psychotherapeutic!

the classic grey shirt

Some words about the brand CLOTHO | CLOTHO is a greek fashion brand, based in Athens, Greece. Even though it's quite new, it totally caught my eye because of its simple, clean and minimal line. Every piece is basic and it can be worn in so many styles, casual, feminine, androgynous. It's this versatility I love about it and what it really makes it stand out among other fashion brands. So, if you are into minimal clothing but you don't know where to start from, this is for you. 

The Classic Grey Shirt * | A grey shirt is a basic item that anyone should have in their wardrobe, again because of the many ways you can wear it, dress it up or down, as it literally goes with everything, without being too much.

Visit Clotho to learn more about their collections, navigate through their e-shop to get your hands on their minimal clothes or be blown away by their Instagram.

*PR Samples | Gifts

the blue jersey jumper

Some words about the brand CLOTHO | CLOTHO is a greek fashion brand, based in Athens, Greece. Even though it's quite new, it totally caught my eye because of its simple, clean and minimal line. Every piece is basic and it can be worn in so many styles, casual, feminine, androgynous. It's this versatility I love about it and what it really makes it stand out among other fashion brands. So, if you are into minimal clothing but you don't know where to start from, this is for you.

The Blue Jersey Jumper * | This satin blue jumper was an item I definitely wanted to try. The challenge was to prove that a unique item like this one can be worn for everyday, because of its cool grey undertones. I paired it with dainty rings and a simple, yet beautiful necklace that resembles an ancient greek perfume bottle.

Visit Clotho to learn more about their collections, navigate through their e-shop to get your hands on their minimal clothes or be blown away by their Instagram.

*PR Samples | Gifts

a study in pink

If there is one trend I love seeing on others but never looks good on me, is pink. Pink lips in particular. Of course there are many types of pink and my olive skin tone can definitely pull one of them, but most of the time, something seems to go wrong. Insisting on finding the right shade for me, I share my top picks, mainly sheer but pink enough to satisfy my girly side!

The Balm  |  Nivea Raspberry Rose is a thick lip balm, which works wonders overnight to soothe and moisturise dry lips. You can also wear it in the daytime for a discrete pink nude lip, that brings any eye look together.

The Plump  |  Dior Addict Lip Glow is an amazing product with a heavenly vanilla mint scent. I've talked about it a million times, so I won't tire you with the same words, just try it!

The Gloss  |  I'm not a huge fan of lip glosses in general, as I find matte shades more flattering on me. Apart from that, Revlon Colorburst in Bellini is the one I can go for, especially in the spring/summer time as it looks so lovely on the lips, it catches the light beautifully and it's so effortless.

The Sheen  |  Chanel Ipanema, one of my favourite Chanel lipsticks. Again, a discrete, barely there pink shade, adding a lovely sheen. It's so easy to wear without a mirror and it never gets too much when reapplied.

The Matte  |  Mac Creme Cup, the controversial one. Whenever I look at the bullet, I desperately want to love it, but it takes so much time to work with it... Is it the cremesheen finish? Is it the shade? I can't really tell, but the best way to wear it is: lip balm, lip liner and light tapping motions to transfer the shade onto lips. If I leave it there, it will get dry soon, so sometimes I have to apply a little of Revlon Bellini on top... Have you ever tried? Is there any easy and quick way to apply this lipstick and love the result?

Please let me know!

my 'busy girl' morning routine | the conscience fund

Hello to the readers at Cups & Roses! I am Divya and I have a blog over at The Conscience Fund which is my legit place on the internet to pour my heart and talk about makeup, beauty, life, travel and all the (non)sense under the sun! I am thrilled to be guest writer for Diana today and sharing my makeup story with you.

I am very particular about time. Its on-time-every-time for me or nothing! Its just one of those things for me which give me a major morning boost much like my morning coffee ha! Punctuality as we know it does not come cheap and takes a lot of struggle through bathing, dressing, eating and the sort so its important for me to streamline, organize and be quick.

Organization |  As a measure to save time I try not to have my entire makeup collection all in one place which is a struggle of epic proportions to get through, and instead have the things which I plan to use on a tray on my dresser for easy access. I have actually gotten really good at a monthly makeup cull where I sort through my entire collection pick a few makeup items in each category, set them aside, throw away or sell what's bad or not loved enough and then use the selected stash for the majority of the month.

Skincare | A few things are a must in my makeup routine which includes a bit of concealer, blush, eyeliner and a LOT of glow! I rely heavily on good skincare in order to keep my skin in top shape and cut down the product, effort and time to hide blemishes or blend foundation for hours in the morning. Besides, there is nothing better than a good skincare pamper in the morning to wake up!

Natural Bases | If it's a choice between natural and perfect I almost always go for natural which brings me to my preferred kind of bases, the tinted moisturisers. Also popular as "BB Creams" these have gradually become my favorite bases of all times, particularly the  Dior Skin Nude Bb Cream. It has coverage without caki-ness, glow without shimmer, hydration without greasiness.. what more can one want? To cover up those stubborn spots or eye bags my current favorite concealer is MAC's Select Moisturecover Concealer which incidentally was not love at first use but something that I have grown to really like now. Its great for my dry under-eye skin and also redness which I tend to have sometimes. On days when I only use concealer I like to use a good dusting of the Chanel's Les Beiges Healthy Glow to set everything in place and achieve a natural, undetectable glow. This powder is ridiculously priced but ridiculously good and for those of you who like me do not need coverage and live for the lit-from-within glowy goodness, this is your best bet!

Blush & Highlight | Blush is something I can never skip. Its probably my most loved makeup product and gives lipsticks a tight competition for the top spot! My current go-to is Clinique's Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop which came out last year and took the beauty world by a storm thanks to its incredible formula and gorgeous cream-to-powder finish. Ginger Pop is a staple peachy-pink with little brown tones that works perfectly on my medium-tan skin tone. To load up on the glow I love the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer which again is great for the skin (being a natural product) and the shimmer is completely undetectable once on the skin.

Minimal Eyes | I am all for cream eyeshadows in the morning. Blending powder eyeshadows is an art of a kind and given the time constraints I it! Chanel's Illusion D'ombre eyeshadows and MAC's paintpot's are every busy girl's best friend! I love Mirage from Chanel which is the most beautiful bronzey-shimmery-gold color yet! I usually skip brows and mascara, having been blessed with a full set of both so that saves a bit of time as well, but I love to curl my lashes to lift them and my Shu Uemura curlers are my go-to for that.

Hope you liked the post! Let me know what you think and head over to my blog for a read!

I am incredibly happy and lucky to have beautiful Divya as a guest on Cups & Roses! She lives in exotic Bangalore, India and while working as a Software Developer with a Computer Science Major degree, she is a professional on combining intelligence with beauty and make up; this is girl power

I've been loving her blog for so long, not only for her amazing photos but mainly because of her luxurious picks, always on point and the fact that I'd choose the same products for myself too! There is nothing not to love in The Conscience Fund and you can also follow her on Bloglovin, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for a higher dose of beauty!

study | work | blog

Even the title itself sounds terrifying, but as I always say, there is a solution to everything. There are many things that have to be done, like studying, others that are vital for living and last but not least, the one we all love here, blogging. Most of us are dealing with all of the above and when everything seems impossible, planning is here to help you out.

The Plan  |  When working full time, whether it's morning, afternoon or both, nothing seems to have its place throughout your day, but again it's important to set your priorities. Work is work and you'll always get home tired, even if you love your job. This is when you have to unwind, relax and be prepared to start your next goal, which is studying. That way you'll get all the unpleasant stuff out of the way to move on to the one you really enjoy. Blogging is definitely a two-part process for me. Daylight is my favourite time to take all the photos and nigh time I get text-excited and all the ideas fill my head. So, when at home in the morning, what a better way to start your day by taking lots and lots of photos for your blog. After a rough day of work and a little bit of studying, if you are feeling like typing some words and getting your blog mojo up high, then go for it! 

The Reality  |  If there is one thing I'd love to exclude from my routine, is definitely studying. Unfortunately this idea isn't a possibility so the only thing I can do is to force myself to get done with my last project and get my architecture degree. Fellow students can totally understand how stressful and time consuming this field can be, so let's take a moment to encourage each other to move on...

I tend to go through phases of full studying with an amazing progress and others that I can't even be bothered. Creativity and ideas can't be forced in any way and this why it's important to take your time, get inspired and start designing again. I've also noticed that whenever I'm brainstorming with post ideas and write them down creating a three-month-plan, I get even more inspired, while moving away from the whole process for a long period of time, can lead to an inspirational block. Speaking from personal experience, when you give up on something, it gives up on you too, so a nice way to keep growing as a creative person, is to never give up, but do your best to give your ideas life in an everyday basis; even if you can't see a difference right away, you'll be amazed by your progress in the long run!