REDREIDINGHOOD

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VIA VAI ‘DAD’ SNEAKERS

7 March 2019

Via Vai Marina Dad sneakers
Via Vai Dad sneakers outfit
Via Vai Dad sneakers outfit
Via Vai dad sneakers | Mick Keus jeans | Mango blazer | Ellesse body suit | Zara bum bag

If I would have to draw my father from how I memorize him from my youth he would look something like this: light blue jeans with a matching denim jacket and white sneakers with a chunky sole. Until recently I loved teasing my dad with photos from his former ‘dad’ look, but now I would actually love it if he would get his old ensemble from the attic. Not for himself, but for me!

“The ‘dad look’ is very hot at the moment!”

Dad sneakers
Unfortunately he already said goodbye to his old ‘dad uniform’, which might have to do with my never ending jokery. Oh well, it wouldn’t have fit anyway. Plus the ‘dad look’ is very hot at the moment, so it’s not that hard to copy. I already had the jeans for a while, but since very recently I am the proud owner of a pair of Dad sneakers from VIA VAI Shoes. I choose the Marina Dot sneakers, with a striking tongue and back.

The outfit
Since I don’t have to be an exact copy of my dad, I skipped the denim jacket. In stead I choose for an elegant checkered blazer and a sporty body suit to create a contrast: sporty chic. Plus the orange color of the body suit matches with the orange details of the sneakers. I love creating contrasts and therefore I would also combine my Via Vai dad sneakers with a feminine dress. Or underneath a suit! The options are endless. And did I already mention they’re super comfy?

“I love creating contrasts.”

About Via Vai
Via Vai represents Dutch design with Italian allure for over 25 years. The collection is known repeatedly for high quality materials; all from Italy, a trendy signature and the perfect fit. Made for the cool, feminine, trendy power woman from now who knows what she wants!

What do you think of my new Via Vai dad sneakers? And do you already have a pair yourself?

xoxo,
Rowan

8 things you must-do in the Basque Country

1 September 2018

Zarautz Surf Village Basque Country view

Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I came back from a one week holiday to the North of Spain: the Basque Country. Whereas many people travel to the South of Spain, this part of the country still remains fairly undiscovered, which made me wanted to go even more!

I got the idea of visiting the Basque Country because Zarautz Surf Village asked me to stay at their campsite. After a bit of research I got very excited about the region and always wanted to give surfing a try, so the answer was a definitive yes! Since my boyfriend and I were very interested in the city of Bilbao as well and we liked to end the vacation in the luxury of a hotel we decided to spend the last few days of the week at the Petit Palace Arana hotel in the heart of Bilbao. We really enjoyed our time in the Basque Country and I really recommend you to go as well. And if you go, this is what you shouldn’t miss:

Zarautz Surf Village

1. Surf (or at least make an attempt)
The Bay of Biscay is well-known among surfers, especially the beach of Zarautz is very popular. If you’re an advanced surfer you should definitely catch a wave or two and if you like me haven’t even seen a surf board before it’s fun to get a (few) lesson(s). If you stay at Zarautz Surf Village you can lend surf boards and wetsuits for free and for a little surcharge you can get lessons. Vincent and I took one lesson and although we both didn’t manage to actually stand up (watch the vlog for some fun footage), it was so much fun to try.

2. Drive the beautiful coastal roads
I can’t drive (yet), but Vincent really enjoyed driving the great maintained roads of the Basque Country, especially the coastal roads which requires some nice cornering. I just enjoyed admiring the beautiful sights from the passenger’s seat: high and green mountain tops, rocky coves and wild waves.

“I can’t surf, but it was so much fun to try!”

3. Go beach hopping
The Basque Country offers the most beautiful beaches surrounded by impressive rocky coves, some easily accessible and some more secluded. Just bring your bikini when visiting a coastal city like Zarautz or San Sebastian or drive the coastal roads and stop whenever you spot a nice beach to lay down for a few hours.

Bilbao Guggenheim Spider San Sebastian San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

4. Discover Bilbao
The city of Bilbao is especially known for the prestigious Guggenheim Museum of Modern Arts, which draws a lot of visitors to the city: the Bilbao effect. The museum is currently home to famous art works of Chagall, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Mark Rothko, Yves Klein and many more. Taking photos and videos inside unfortunately is not allowed. I must say though that the most impressive (and ‘grammable’) pieces to me were the open air works, which you can admire for free. Next to the Guggenheim which is a beautiful modern building, Bilbao also has lots of great classical buildings. Another must-do in Bilbao is taking the funicular (cable train) to the viewing point Artxanda. It’s a fun and cheap experience and the view over Bilbao is amazing. Also save some time for shopping. Spanish stores like Zara and Mango are a bit cheaper in Spain. And if you’re from the Netherlands and you love make-up, you must pay a visit to Sephora since they carry brands like Huda Beauty, Fenty Beauty and Kat Von D. I recorded a ‘Sephora Spain shoplog + first impressions’ video in which I show you what I got.

5. Visit San Sebastian
In 2016 San Sebastian was European Capital City of the Year and I can totally see why: classical architecture, a stunning boulevard, a lovely funfair, lots of good food and just generally good vibes. We coincidentally were there in the week of the International Firework Competition (mid-August), which means that every night at 10.45 there’s a big firework show which you can best view from the beach for free. So if you can, plan your visit during this week, it’s beautiful!

“Visiting Game of Thrones film location ‘San Juan de Gaztelugatxe’ was awesome!”

6. Walk in Jon Snow’s footsteps at Dragonstone
Call me a nerd, but to me visiting San Juan de Gatztelugatxe was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. In Game Of Thrones Kaleeshi’s castle ‘Dragonstone’ is situated on top of this peninsula. The castle itself is CGI, but the stairs Jon Snow walked to reach the castle are super real. You can walk them for free yourself as well! Two tips: wear comfy shoes since it’s quite a walk and go when it’s gloomy outside to get that real “winter is coming” vibe.

Pinxtos apple cider Basque Country

7. Stuff yourself with Pintxos
Pintxos is the Basque word (they’ve got their own language) for tapas and they’re DELICIOUS. I’m not going to give you a recommendation of places, because there are Pintxos bars all over the place and they all looked great to me. If you eat meat I do want to recommend you to try everything with Iberican ham though, because it tastes like a piece of heaven!

8. Drink apple cider at a brewery
Apparently the Basque Country is well-known for their apple cider breweries, so Vincent and I decided to visit one that has its own – very good – restaurant and I’m glad we did. We went to a Arizia and got to tap our own cider, which was so much fun to do. There are five variants made of different kinds of apples: from sweet to sour. If you go to Arizia as well, make sure to order the Txulleta to share. It’s a regional and delicious type of meat!

For more about my trip to the Basque Country, please watch my vlog! Did you ever visit the Basque Country or are you planning to?

xoxo,
Rowan

NEW WALL ART BY DESENIO

26 June 2018

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For the longest time the wall behind our couch had been nearly empty; there was just one small framed poster (the foggy Paris one) and a round mirror. I always had the idea to decorate the wall with more framed posters, but it seemed like such a hassle to collect all of these posters and make sure the frames were matching. That was until I discovered Desenio: a webshop where you can find numerous beautiful posters and frames in all of the sizes you can think of. So I took a photo of my wall, photoshopped a few Desenio posters in, liked the result and clicked them home. Easy like that! When they arrived I kindly asked my dad to hang them up for me et voila! I love my tiny little art gallery!

“Use my Desenio discount code REDREIDINGHOOD for 25% off!”

If you want to order something at Desenio I’ve got good news for you! Use the code ‘REDREIDINGHOOD’ for 25% off. The code is valid for 3 days, from Tuesday 26 to Thursday June 28th and is not valid on frames or posters from the categories “handpicked” and “collaboration”.

xoxo,
Rowan

5 REASONS TO FLY FROM GRONINGEN AIRPORT EELDE

4 June 2018

GAE

Thusrday May 17 one of my best friends – and super photographer – Kimberley and I flew to Vienna from Groningen Airport Eelde. I will do a different blog post about my trip to Vienna (in the meantime check my vlog). In this one I would like to share my experience with flying from Groningen Airport Eelde. I really enjoyed flying from this small sized airport for the following five reasons:

“GAE is the cheapest airport of the Netherlands when it comes to parking!”

  • Easy and quick transfers
    You can fly to almost anywhere from Groningen Airport Eelde. Not always with a direct flight (although they do have a lot of direct flight options as well), but often with a short layover.  We for example flew to Vienna via Copenhagen. On the way there we had to wait 2 hours and 15 minutes for our next flight and on the way back only 1,5 hour. This way we landed in Vienna within 4 hours, a pretty decent travel time! Plus I really like to walk around airports and therefore I didn’t mind discovering Copenhagen airport. Kimberley even bought a cute little souvenir: a little statue of the famous mermaid. Discover all destinations from GAE.
  • GAE is closeby 
    Of course this isn’t the case for everyone, but for me an my fellow Northern Dutchies Eelde is very strategically located. It doesn’t only matter in distance, but also in crowdedness. The two factors together make my travel time significantly less than when I had to drive to Schiphol (Amsterdam).
  • Cheap parking
    Since my boyfriend brought us I must admit I’m not speaking from experience, but I’ve been told that parking at GAE is very cheap; it even is the cheapest airport of the Netherlands when it comes to parking. Next time my boyfriend and I are going on vacation together this could be an important reason to choose for flying from GAE, since we’re always unpleasantly surprised by the high parking costs at Schiphol.
  • Short waiting lines
    I was so surprised by how quickly everything went at GAE: checking in went fast, we passed security in a blink of an eye (they were very friendly by the way) and we stepped out of the plane upon arrival our suitcases were pretty much immediately on the luggage belt. My suitcase even was the first one to show up!
  • Traveling relaxed
    Thanks to everything I mentioned above traveling from GAE is very relaxed, which might even be the biggest advantage for flying from a compact airport like GAE. There’s just a much more relaxed vibe than at for example hectic Schiphol. Now I can appreciate the hustle and bustle of big airports as well, but if you don’t and you’re easily stressed out I really recommend you to try flying from a smaller airport like GAE. I really think you’ll be traveling so much more relaxed.

“I was surprised about how fast everything went at Groningen Airport Eelde!”

Although this trip was a collaboration with Groningen Airport Eelde everything I mentioned above is sincere. I used to click immediately click Schiphol when searching for tickets, but from now on I’ll definitely check for flights departing from Eelde as well. So you could say this trip literally and figuratively broadened my horizon! More information about Groningen Airport Eelde can be found here.

Did you ever fly from a compact airport like Groningen Airport Eelde? Or did you ever consider it? I’m curious!

xoxo,
Rowan

* This post was created in collaboration with Groningen Airport Eelde.

CURAÇAO TRAVEL GUIDE

23 May 2018

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It’s been almost a month now since I came back from beautiful Curaçao. This was my second time visiting Curaçao and I fell even more in love with the island this time. Next to the gems I already discovered the first time I went, I discovered even more beautiful places this time, so I thought I’d make a travel guide for you including all my tips. Also don’t forget to watch my Curaçao travel vlog!

T O  S T A Y

Jan Thiel area: This is probably the most popular area to stay and the place ‘where it all happens’. In this area you’ll find beach clubs, great restaurants and beautiful resorts. Most resorts are within walking distance of all of these facilities. The first time we went along with my aunt and uncle whom hired a stunning modern sea view appartement at the Boca Gentil resort. This time my boyfriend and I went alone and we hired an appartement at the beautiful and well maintained Morena Resort for the first part of our stay. The resort is perfectly sized: not too big and not too small. It has two beautiful pools, a nice restaurant and has lots of vegetation. The appartement was fully equipped, new and clean. But the best thing about our appartement was definitely the huge porch where we really enjoyed having breakfast and dinner, when we decided not to go out to eat. We didn’t book breakfast at the resort by the way, but went to the Albert Heijn supermarket which is only a five minutes walk away. It is quite an expensive supermarket though, but very convenient.

Westpunt area: The most beautiful beaches of Curaçao can be found in Westpunt area. Lagun is probably the most popular one, which is where our second accommodation ‘Lagun Blou Resort‘ was situated. The resort is build on one of the two cliffs surrounding the Lagun bay. The view was absolutely STUNNING! You can spot turtles swimming in the bay and some people even saw dolphins from a distance. The cliffs are also the home of many iguanas. Despite their scary dragon-like appearance, these animals are absolutely harmless and 100% vegetarian. If you want to you can even feed them your left-over pieces of fruit or bread and make them walk over you (check my vlog to see them walking over me). Don’t be afraid, they won’t do this if you have no intention to feeding them. The resort has a pool, which is okay, but also a jacuzzi situated on the edge of the cliff. Watching the sunset from the jacuzzi is magical! The resort has about twenty two-level houses. The house we stayed in had a kitchen, small porch and a bathroom on the first floor. The second floor had a bedroom, a second bathroom and a big balcony with a stunning view. Although the house was fully equipped, it was a little bit outdated. The owner told us that they were busy renovating the entire place though, so it might be totally different when we would decide to come back next year. It also doesn’t have a restaurant right now, but the owner also told us that it will have a four star restaurant in the future. For now the Bahia restaurant on the cliff on the other side of the bay was great if you wanted to go out to eat without taking the car. A disadvantage of Westpunt area is that have to drive quite some time for things like a decent supermarket or beach clubs. Westpunt is home to the most beautiful beaches, but it doesn’t offer much other entertainment. That’s why we decided to stay at Jan Thiel first and spend our last days at Westpunt.

“Jan Thiel is ‘where it all happens’, but the best beaches can be found in Westpunt.”

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T O  M O V E

Most people go to Curaçao by plane, which obviously is what we did. We decided to fly with KLM, since we’re always very satisfied about their service. To move around Curaçao I can really recommend you to get a car. I have no experience with public transport, but I wouldn’t want to depend on that. And since Curaçao is all about beach hopping you don’t want to spend your entire vacation at the resort. We decided to hire a cheap run-down jeep, since we thought it was funny. I must admit though that I regretted I sometimes wished we had gone for a ‘normal’ car. The fact that it was open gave me quite an unsafe feeling when we were waiting for the traffic lights at nights and I’ve been super scared for our suitcases to bounce out of the car. Plus the chance to get car troubles was quite realistic, which obviously isn’t something you’d want to happen when you’re on vacation.

Next to that the safety in general was quite concerning. The seat belts were extremely loose and there were no airbags. Don’t understand me wrong: it was a fun car and it was nice for pictures, but a reliable car definitely has its advantages as well. Plus the car rental company wasn’t situated at the airport and they were closed on Sundays. We flew back on a Sunday and therefore had to throw the keys in the mailbox and wait for our taxi which arrive way later (an hour!) than agreed upon. Another reason to rent from a bigger company. Next time I’d definitely use Easy Terra, a website that compares rental companies in Curaçao which saves you time and money!

 

“Next time I’d definitely use Easy Terra to find us a reliable car for the best price!”

T O  E A T

Brakkeput Mei Mei: My absolute favorite place to eat at Curaçao is ‘Brakkeput Mei Mei’, situated in a historic country house decorated with cosy lights. The menu is Spanish orientated and they’re specialized in grilling. Definitely try their spare ribs! They’re so soft, that they just fall from the bones. This restaurant is situated at Jan Thiel area.

Landhuis Klein Santa Martha: Another nice restaurant situated in a historic country house is ‘Landhuis Klein Santa Martha’, which is a great option if you’re staying at Westpunt area. The food is great, but the view overlooking the Santa Martha bay might be even more incredible. I read that it’s also great to go here for lunch and use the pool at the back of the building as well, but I haven’t seen the pool myself.

Tinto: Vincent says that he got the best food of our trip at Tinto, specialized in Argentinian grilled dishes. I really liked it as well, but I really liked Brakkeput as well. Tinto is situated at the Jan Thiel Bay. The restaurant is actually build on the water, which gives it a very nice ambiance.

– Koraal: This restaurant is situated at the Coral Estate resort and is one of the most beautiful places to watch sunset. Vincent and I went there to have lunch first and enjoy the infinity pool, which has a stunning sea view. We watched the sunset whilst laying in the pool, changed into normal clothes and then enjoyed dinner at Koraal. The food was good, but the main reason I’d suggest to go here is definitely the view.

Perla del Mar: If you’re in Willemstad and looking for a place to eat, definitely try Perla del Mar. The food is great, but this restaurant is all about location as well. It’s situated right next to the sea where the water smashes pretty hard against the rocks breaking the waves. It’s a pretty cool thing to see!

“Definitely try the super soft spare ribs at Brakkeput Mei Mei.”

T O  D O

Snorkeling: You can’t leave Curaçao without having seen the underwater life, because it’s absolutely beautiful. The many bays are home to beautiful colored fishes and even sea turtles. Watching sea turtles gracefully floating through the water is such a magical thing to see! And if you’re really really reeeaaally lucky you might even sea a whale shark, since I saw a photo on Facebook last week of a whale shark which was seen at Playa Kalki! Don’t worry they’re harmless and other sharks are never seen around the coasts of Curaçao. Of course you can also dive to experience underwater life, which I’ve never done. I just don’t think I’d feel comfortable carrying around all that weight with me and going so deep. Snorkeling is magical enough for me!

– Beach hopping: As I mentioned before it would be an incredible waste to stay at your resort, since Curaçao has so many beautiful beaches to enjoy! My favorites are Cas Abao, Playa Porto Marie (they have pigs walking around on the beach here), Blue Bay, Kokomo Beach (they’ve got a very instagrammable water swing), Grote Knip (a public beach), Lagun and Playa Grandi. Lagun is well kown for the high chances of spotting sea turtles, but if you really want to spot lots of sea turtles all together you should really visit Playa Grandi. Playa Grandi is where fishers clean their fishes and throw the remains back in to the sea, which attracts many sea turtles. The fishermen typically do this between 12 and 3 in the afternoon, so these are the best times to go. The sea turtles come really close and really don’t care about all the people there. You could so to speak touch them, which of course you shouldn’t actually do but I’m just saying this to indicate how close they come. When I was there I spotted eight! Definitely check my vlog for great underwater sea turtle footage at Playa Grandi.

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Catamaran boat to Klein Curaçao: During our first vacation in Curaçao we took a catamaran boat to the island Klein Curaçao, which was so much fun! The first part of the trip to Klein Curaçao was quite bumpy, but when we arrived the party really started. First we went snorkeling with sea turtles and beautiful fishes in the crystal clear waters and when we got back on the boat they fired up the barbecue for a yummy lunch. It was all inclusive meaning you could drink and eat as much as you wanted. The journey back was very peaceful. We hang in the nets enjoying a bit too many glasses of wine and just had so much fun along with the other guests.

Shete Boka National Park: Also make sure to visit the Shete Boka National Park to witness the incredible Boka Pistol where the waves hit the cliffs so hard it creates a water explosion. Another fun thing to see is the beach where there are lots of hermit crabs. The second time we went we hardly saw any though, whilst the year before the place was crowded with them. Maybe it has to do with the time of the year. The first time we went in September and the second time in January.

– Willemstad: The capital of Curaçao is best-known for it’s picture perfect World Heritage ‘Handelskade’ of beautiful colored Dutch merchant houses and the Queen Emma pontoon bridge. The bridge connects the Punda and Otrabanda part of the city and opens regularly for ships. It’s the only floating wooden swing bridge in the world. Next to that it’s also fun to check out the beautiful colored houses of the Pietermaai district and the floating market. Willemstad is pretty small, so you only need a few hours to spend in Willemstad.

“Watching sea turtles gracefully floating through the water is such a magical thing to see!”

So far my Curaçao Travel Guide. I really hope these tips are helpful to you! Have you ever been to Curaçao or are you planning to after reading this article?

xoxo,
Rowan

 

MY EXPERIENCE WITH DERMA ROLLING BY SWISS CLINIC

15 February 2018

Swiss Clinic Skin Renewal Set microneedling derma rolling reviewSwiss Clinic Skin Renewal Set microneedling derma rolling review

Wow, it honestly feels a little strange to be writing a blog post again, since it’s been quite a few months since my last one. Lately I’ve been a lot more focused on my Instagram and YouTube, since I honestly think those channels simply are more popular than blogs nowadays. Plus that I’m really starting to enjoy producing video content and simply like being able to quickly show you my outfit and tell you about a product I like. I therefore decided to only use this blog for when I want to talk about stuff more in depth: personal stories, travel guides and beauty products that deserve more attention. The latter is the reason why I decided to write this post. I recently discovered a technique called “Derma Rolling” (or microneedling) by Swiss Clinic and it’s blown my mind so much that I think it deserves a more in depth explanation than I quick Instagram post, so here we go!

“Derma rolling stimulates the natural healing process, causing your skin to produce collagen.”

What is a derma roller and why should you use it?
So “what the hell is derma rolling”, I hear you thinking. Well, it all starts with a brush kind of tool from a company called Swiss Clinic. The tool has a rollable ‘head’ with hundreds of tiny needles. The needles of mine are 0.2mm to be precisely. The idea is easy: after you cleaned your face you start rolling the derma roller over your face with gentle pressure in several ways. Up and down, left and right. What it basically does is ‘damaging’ the skin on a very tiny scale. This stimulates a natural healing process, which causes your skin to produce collagen. Collagen (or botox) is what doctors use to fill wrinkles, but by derma rolling your skin produces it naturally and doesn’t need any injections. So one thing that derma rolling does is decreasing wrinkes and fine lines. Next to that it reduces the size of your proces and the production of sebum, which helps to stop acne. It also exfioliates the skin, which makes it feel really soft. And because the needles kind of ‘open up’ your skin, derma rollling also makes sure that your skin care products get soaked up by your skin better.

My experience with derma rolling
I already was very curious about derma rolling for a while now, since my favorite blogger and YouTuber Lydia Elise Millen is very excited about it (read her review here). So when I got asked to try the Swiss Clinic Skin Renewal set, which includes a skin roller, rejuvenating serum and sanitizing spray, I obviously got very excited. I started derma rolling about a month ago to keep my skin young and hopefully delay the signs of aging in the form of wrinkles. Whether that works is pretty hard to say. I mean I still don’t have any wrinkles, but I don’t think they would have already appeared by now either. This is more of a long term goal. A short term reason for me to start derma rolling is my acne that suddenly started to come back (read my entire acne story here). Derma rolling should help to beat acne as well, since it opens up the pores. And I must say that I really think it makes a difference. It’s not like I suddenly am entirely free of spots now, but I do think my skin is much more calm now. I see a few less spots, but also less redness in general. What really confirmed that it works to me is my trip to Curaçao. I just started derma rolling two weeks before my trip and could already notice my skin getting calmer. I forgot to bring my derma roller to Curaçao with me though and BAM the bigger painful spots returned. So when I got home I immediately picked up derma rolling again and my skin is much calmer again now. I also just really like the feeling of the derma roller going over my skin. I can feel the needles, but it’s not painful. It actually makes me feel kind of zen. Plus it’s like I can really feel my skin soaking up the product much better. When I don’t use the derma roller (I try to use it everyday, but sometimes I’m too tired and just want to go to bed) I feel like my cream is just laying on top of the surface of my skin. If I’ve got to mention one disadvantage, it’s the fact that you run out quite quickly of the sanitizing spray. But I think you could use something disinfecting from the drugstore as well.

The next step
So now that I’ve experienced the benefits of the 0.2 mm derma roller I consider getting the 0.5 mm as well. According to Lydia it makes your skin soak up even more product. And I’d like to try the Skin Roller – Body as well to see if it can tighten up the skin on my butt and reduce my cellulite even further. Of course my treatments at Figuura take care of that as well, but for maximum results I’d like to have something to do from home as well.

“I forgot to bring my derma roller to Curaçao and BAM the big painful spots returned.”

You can purchase the Swiss Clinic Skin Renewal set for €96,- here. Have you ever tried derma rolling or are you tempted to do so now?

xoxo,
Rowan

PS: Swiss Clinic sent me these products, but I’m not paid to say only nice things about them. This article contains my honest and truthful opinion.

CRUELTY FREE MAC EQUIVALENT LIP COMBO

25 October 2017

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Those of you who’ve been following my blog since the early days might remember my love for two MAC products: MAC spice lipliner & MAC honeylove lipstick. For the longest time this has been my daily lip combo and I used to get many questions upon what I was wearing.

“When I went cruelty free, I had to say goodbye to my once so beloved MAC lip combo.”

But as you also might remember about two years ago I went cruelty free and therefore I had to say goodbye to all of my once so beloved MAC products. Never since had did I manage to find a good equivalent for my MAC lip combo. I once simply gave it up and switched to liquid lipsticks. Although I now am a huge liquid lipstick lover (read about my favorites here and here), I’d still like to switch things up with an ‘old school’ lipliner and lipstick combo. Well, I wouldn’t be writing this article if I didn’t find it: after two freaking years the search is finally over!I found the perfect MAC spice lipliner equivalent at a store in my hometown called MECO Cosmetics. The lipliner is called ‘Au Natural’ and it immediately reminded me of MAC spice. The big difference though is that MECO cosmetics is 100% cruelty free! Next to that their products are hypoallergenic and don’t contain any parabens and perfume. Unfortunately it’s not that easy to get your hands on it if you don’t live in Leeuwarden though. They do have a webshop, but for some kind of reason I couldn’t find this exact shade. They’ll probably be able to get it for you if you send them an email though.

But as I said I found the perfect lip COMBO, which means that I also found a nice lipstick to go with the lip pencil. I actually already found the lipstick quite a while ago, but since I never ever wear lipsticks without lipliner I never actually wore it. I’m talking about Etos Kylie’s Fave. It’s a perfect match with the Meco Cosmetics Au Natural lip pencil. Etos is a Dutch drugstore and I really love their own label!

“Meco Au Natural lipliner and Etos Kylie’s Fave is the perfect lip combo for me!”

So that’s it: my new favorite lip combo! What’s your favorite lip product?

xoxo,
Rowan

MY GUIDE FOR 10 DAYS IN SOUTH BALI

24 October 2017

It’s been over a month already that I came back from Bali, but I still want to share my Bali favorites with you: places to stay, places to visit & how to move. Although I’ve only been there for 10 full days, I think I managed to see a lot: all because I did a lot of research in advance. So save yourself some time and just use my guide and I’m sure you’ll leave Bali satisfied!

T  O   S  T  A  Y

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“The absolute highlight was the infinity pool overlooking a rice terrace!”

Ubud: We decided to start our journey in Ubud, the spiritual center of Bali. Most ‘tourist attractions’ are situated around the Ubud area, so make sure that you have enough time to explore this area. We booked three nights at the beautiful and quite new Calma Ubud suite & villas, but I suggest you to stay there for at least four nights though. Especially when you stay at a beautiful place like this and want to be able to enjoy the residence as well. I would have loved to spend one whole day at our residence, but there was just so much to see that we couldn’t. We did enjoy the mornings and evenings at the Calma Ubud to the fullest though. There was so much to love about the Calma Ubud, but the absolute highlight was the round infinity pool overlooking a rice terrace. That view was just insane (and very Instagrammable)! Behind the pool is a small-scale common dining/breakfast area; which is set-up almost like a living room. The whole thing just felt so ‘homey’, which is not only because of the cosy interior, but also because of the people. The staff is super friendly and they recognize all of their guests. Although we only stayed here for a few days, I really felt like I bonded with them. We stayed at a Superior Plus Room, which features a delightful outside rain shower. Just like the common area the room also feels very homey with a perfect mix of modern and traditional furniture. Definitely check out my first Bali vlog for a room tour!

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“Everybody going to Bali should book a private pool villa for a few days.”

Canggu: For the second part of our trip I figured I wanted to either stay at the trendy Seminyak or hipster Canggu area. We eventually decided to go for the latter, since I found an INCREDIBLE place to stay: The Bali Dream Villa Resort Echo beach. We booked a private pool villa, which was such a great idea! I truly think that everybody going to Bali should book a private pool villa for a few days; it’s such a great experience. I must admit that we didn’t leave the villa a lot, since we wanted to enjoy it to the fullest, but the few times we did leave the residence we truly had a blast! We took the free shuttle car to the very laid-back Echo beach to see the sunset and also went shopping in Canggu by taking another free shuttle car from the resort. Definitely make sure to pay a visit to this store called Love Anchor, where they sell gorgeous swimsuits and bikinis for a fair price. We also went to Seminyak when we stayed in Canggu, which is only a 30 minute taxi drive away. Check out my second Bali vlog to see more of what we were up to during our stay in Canggu area!

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“At Uluwatu you’ll find idyllic beaches surrounded by cliffs.”

Uluwatu: Okay, so we didn’t actually stay in Uluwatu, but I’m 100% sure we will next time. For the third and last part of our trip we stayed at Novotel in Nusa Dua, but that wasn’t really my thing. We ended up staying at Nusa Dua because the internet told me that the best beaches can be found over there, but I personally prefer the Uluwatu beaches. The Nusa Dua beaches are good with light blond sand and bright blue water, but slightly boring. Along the beach you find tons of big American style luxury resorts, which to me feels a bit artificial. I’d much rather go to a beach surrounded by rock and cliffs; the ones you find in Uluwatu. Since Nusa Dua was a bit of a bummer to us, we decided to book a private driver for a day and visited several beaches in Uluwatu. I immediately felt in love with the scenery and the overall vibe. Not only were the beaches more idyllic, Uluwatu also felt more alive and appropriate for our age. Nusa Dua is very family orientated and in Uluwatu we saw a lot more young couples like us. You’ll also find many fun beach clubs in Uluwatu, like Single Fin. I didn’t spot one single fun beach club in Nusa Dua. So I can’t really recommend a certain place to stay in Uluwatu, but I really advise you to look into it!

T  O   V  I  S  I  T

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Ubud market: You can’t visit Ubud without paying a visit to the Ubud market, where you find the most beautiful dream cratchers, rotan bags, jewelry and sarongs for a very good price depending your negotiation skills. Just keep in mind that their first offer will be a ridiculous one and that you should aim to pay about a third of that. If they don’t want to go lower, just walk away and in 99% of the cases they will call you back and agree with what you offered anyway. Although the Ubud market is a lot of fun, you only need two hours max. It’s not that big and they sell much of the same stuff.
Bali Swing in Bongkasa: Do you want to take the most epic Instagram photo ever? Then you might want to visit the Bali Swing in Bongkasa. There are three different swings: a beginner swing, the ‘Instagram’ swing where you’re secured by only a rope around your waist and the high swing where you have to wear an ugly harness. The staff is very friendly. Since it’s all about that perfect Instagram picture, they will ask your photographer (my boyfriend in my case) if he got the shot before they stop you. Next to a fun picture, swinging above the jungle is also quite a thrill. For 35 dollars per person you get unlimited use of the swings and can enjoy a Balinese buffet. We had quite a tight schedule though, so we didn’t get anything to eat and only swinged twice (the Instagram swing and the high swing). Oh well, the photo was worth it!
Bali Pulina Luwak coffee plantation: You can’t leave Bali without getting a taste of the real Luwak coffee: coffee made of beans that are eaten and shitted out by a cute animal called a Luwak. At this place you’ll get a tour of how the coffee is being made and you get offered about 20 different teas and coffees to taste for free, but you’re expected to buy something at the gift shop in the end. The prices aren’t outrageous, so I was totally fine with this: we bought a small package of Luwak coffee and tea that tastes like cookies. But what I might even liked most about this plantation was the view over the jungle. And they even had a swing! We went here after going to the Bali Swing, but if I had known this before I would have probably skipped the official Bali Swing and just took my epic picture here.
Tegalalang rice fields: Very touristy, but it’s definitely worth the visit! The views are truly amazing. Plus the rice field is so big that you won’t even be bothered by the amount of people there. I even took photos on which it looks like I was the only person there; that’s how spacious it is.

” Swinging above the jungle is quite a thrill!”

Pura Tirta Empul temple: Another very touristy one, but I wouldn’t want to have missed out on this one. Bali has lots of temples, but what makes this one special are the 13 fountains to cleanse your soul. Although it was quite busy I really liked the experience.
Tegenungan waterfall: Although this isn’t the most spectacular waterfall in Bali, it is a very accessible one. The most beautiful waterfalls can be found in Northern Bali, but this one is in the Ubud area and therefore very easy to combine with other activities. I took a really cool photo dangling my feet off a cliff in front of the waterfall. To access this cliff you have to pay, but it wasn’t a lot (I forgot the exact price) and worth the shot.
Echo beach: The beach itself isn’t very special, since the sand is black-ish and the water isn’t very clear, but it’s the chill vibe that makes this beach so nice: bean bags, surf dudes and happy dogs running around. Vincent and I were there to see the sunset, which was an amazing experience!
Finns beach club: to be completely honest I never visited the famous Finns beach club, but I truly regret we didn’t. We just wanted to enjoy our private pool villa to the max, but I do feel like we missed out on something good by not going to Finns. Next time we definitely will!
Tanah Lot: I also didn’t visit this one, but it’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful temples of Bali and looking at the pictures I can totally see why.
Pantai Gunung Payung (secret beach): This beautiful beach isn’t very easy to access (you have to climb a lot of stairs), but it’s definitely worth it. Because it’s not easy to acces, there aren’t lots of people which is great!
Blue Point beach: With all it’s rocks and cliffs this is the most stunning beach I’ve seen in Bali, but unfortunately it also was quite a busy one. I wouldn’t want to have missed out on this one though!

T  O    M  O  V  E

Bluebird taxi: If you want to get a taxi, make sure to get a Bluebird taxi if possible. You don’t have to be afraid that you pay too much, which usually is the case with other taxis. They will either tell you that the meter doesn’t work or the meter goes very fast. You can also download the Bluebird app, which works just like Uber. In some areas, like Canggu, Bluebird taxis are banned though and you can unfortunately only use the local and slightly more expensive taxi service.

Private driver: I’d advise every one in Bali to get a private driver for at least one day to get you around all touristy attractions. We booked a private driver for half a day at our hotel in Ubud for approximately 20 euros (gas included) and he drove us to all attractions around the Ubud area. Some tourists prefer hiring a scooter, but the since traffic in Bali can be quite mad I wouldn’t want to do that. Plus the scooters in Bali are so heavy that you actually need to have a motor driving license to drive one. The hiring company wouldn’t make a big fuzz out of this though, but you can have a problem with your insurance if you get into an accident.

“You can download the Bluebird app, which works just like Uber.”

So that’s my Guide for 10 days in South Bali. I had such a fun time in Bali and hopefully you will as well! If you have any tips yourself, please share them in the comments below!

xoxo,
Rowan

FIGUURA UPDATE / -11 CM AROUND THE HIPS AFTER 3 MONTHS

6 September 2017


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It’s been three months since I started my treatment at Figuura to get leaner but above all firmer legs. Curious to see my results so far? Then keep reading!

“I lost more than 10 cm around my hips!”

The treatments
This last month I did workouts in a heat cabin and compression therapy sessions twice a week. Read my Figuura introduction blog post for comprehensive information about the treatments and watch this video  if you’re interested in what those treatments look like exactly! Next to that I also make better decisions when it comes to food. That doesn’t mean that I never eat something unhealthy anymore, but I learned to make conscious choices: when I drink wine, I won’t eat fries and the other way around. And when I do for example eat fries, I’ll eat healthier meals the days after. And I must say I feel really good about that! I started loving the positive feeling I get by eating healthy: not only my body became healthier, but also my mind. I just feel REALLY good about myself at the moment!

The results
Time for the results! Underneath you can see how many centimeters I lost per body part. This time we also measured my upper body.
– 4 cm per upper arm
– 4 cm stomach
– 4 cm waist
– 8 cm belly
– 11 cm hips
– 6 cm per upper leg
I’m so incredibly happy with these results! I lost more than 10 centimeters around my hips, which equals two clothing sizes! Next to that I went from 71,5 kilograms to 63,7 kilograms, which means I lost a whopping 7,8 kilograms! Today I’ll be flying to Bali and I’m so ready for it. For the first time in my life I will feel totally secure about my own body!

What now?
At first we planned to agreed to quit after three months, but Renate asked me if I wanted to keep going for a little while longer to really make sure the results are here to stay. Of course I said yes! We’re not entirely sure for how long we’re gonna keep going yet, but we’ll discuss that after my vacation. I do have an appointment right when I het back from my vacation, which is a great motivation to keep myself on track during my vacation, haha!

“I lost two clothing sizes”

Curious to see what I look like after my vacation? Then subscribe to my YouTube kanaal to get notified of each new video! In between I will also share previews on Instagram stories, so make sure to follow me over there as well. Curious to what Figuura can do for you? Then take a look at their website and schedule a free intake!

xoxo,
Rowan


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FASHIONABLE SOFA CHILLINGS WITH PINK SODA

4 September 2017

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I don’t know about you guys, but as soon as I get home I change into something comfy. Until recently that usually meant an old T-shirt and way too big jogging pants from Vincent. I basically looked like a hobo and always go completely stressed out when the doorbell rang. No one else was allowed to see me like that except for my kitties and Vincent.

“Chilling on the sofa without having to be ashamed for your look!”

Fortunately that problem lies in the past now! Last week I received a package from JD Sports containing these lifestyle leggings and crop sweater from Pink Soda. Pink Soda’s lifestyle leggings aren’t made out of that smooth fitness fabric, but just out of cotton. They’re really meant to chill on the sofa, WITHOUT having to be ashamed for your look. Both items are super comfy – the sweater is super soft inside – and the whole ensemble looks so cute! I totally don’t mind answering the door like this! I’m even thinking about wearing it on the plane when we fly to Bali Wednesday.

What do you think? Is this an airport approved look or should I just stick to wearing it on the sofa?

xoxo,
Rowan


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