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Apps of my life

By Anna Katina

Hello my friends! First of all, thanks a lot for the feedback regarding my car:). For those who haven’t read the news, you can read it here. Today, I am sharing with you my favourite apps I use on my iphone. Since I received the new iPhone XS Max, I decided to organise my phone with more creative apps for my digital content as well install additional, useful tools for my everyday life and work. I will not talk about the phone, photo and mail app as it is obvious that they’re essential! Most of the apps are free but I usually upgrade to experience full services. Each of them is linked so you can find it and its integrated purchases easily in one click. 🙂 PS: At the end of this article, a little giveaway is waiting for you…enjoy!

SOCIAL MEDIA

I only use Instagram and Facebook as social media. From time to time I post on Snapchat and Pinterest but they are not my favourite apps. So let’s say a few words about these two platforms I use in my everyday-life, for personal and professional purposes.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is the app I use the most. I love to work on my feed (I’m a perfectionist), I love sharing photos on Instagram and receive feedback, I try to inspire others and give them ideas about what to wear, where to travel and how to take nice photos. I share a lot of my everyday life in my Insta Stories, not only for my followers but also for myself as I can do some tracking when scrolling back in time. For example, I made an Insta Story of my first week of figure iceskating and I will track my evolution by watching my own previous Insta Stories. I love to interact with my community, ask for advice, share tips and products I use etc. Instagram is a great tool for inspiration. I discover many interesting artists and bloggers thanks to this app but also destinations, coffee shops, hotels, fashion brands etc. Also, I run Instagram pages for several clients so you can imagine how much time I spend on this social media platform.

FACEBOOK PAGES

I run a few Facebook Pages as well so it’s very useful to have this app as I can do everything on my iPhone instead of working on the laptop. Also, I receive many private message on this app and I’ve realised that it’s useful for my community to have direct links on Facebook when I publish a new blogpost.

Messaging Apps

Messenger by Facebook and Whatsapp are two apps I use for private and business conversations. To be honest, I’d prefer to communicate with the normal iPhone Messenger only but somehow people love WhatsApp and I need to be reachable for friends, family & clients so obviously all these channels are needed.

PHOTO & VIDEO

Now to the apps I use to create digital content shared on social media. They include apps to edit photos, to create creative insta stories, flyers, banners etc.

VSCO

I edit my Instagram photos with VSCO. I love the filters, I don’t always use the same ones but my favourite filters are A4, C5, C6, M5, HB2. The photo below was edited with the C6 filter. PS: Little hint about my next blogpost because better late than never – my trip to Japan!

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SNAPSEED

Snapseed is another photo editing app. I use it to work on the colours of an edited photo (saturation etc). In fact, ‘selective’ is the only tool I use on this app but they have other intresting tools like the ‘expand’ tool ! Did you ever wish you could add more space around your subject after the photo has been taken for Instagram? You can do this with Snapseed by using ‘expand’!

LIGHTROOM CC

Lightroom by Adobe is the compact form of the desktop version. I use it for selective colour correction as well but in future I will install new presets to the app that I’ve created on Photoshop!

8 MM

My favourite app for videos! It adds a vintage, grainy ambiance to your videos! The video below was filmed with this app, I love the effect, don’t you?

AFTERLIGHT 2

I use Afterlight to add some dust to my photos but you might like their filters and editing tools which are good but as I’m used to VSCO already, I don’t need additional apps for editing.

INSTASIZE

Instasize is another photo app which I use to add frames to Instagram posts. For the Belle Etoile profile that I manage, I use frames because the feed is a mix of phots I take in the shopping centre, in my studio plus inspiration photos of the stores represented by the shopping mall. As there are different styles of photos, the frames separate these which creates a coherence although the posts are different one from another. I don’t know if it’s clear what I say? 😛

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OVER

An amazing tool to create logos and flyers! I love the variety of fonts, graphics and templates it’s offering!

NOMO

Nomo is a mobile polaroid! Yes, it’s even written: shake the phone after taking the photo! xD. The effect is not bad, when I first saw photos on Instagram taken or edited with this app, I thought they were scans from real polaroids!

UNFOLD

The app for creative instastories! I purchased most collections because I love creating creative Insta Stories and the Unfold frames enable a moodboard style that I really like.

ORGANISATION

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ANALYTICS

Google analytics gives you access to all of your web and app data from your mobile device. You can monitor recent changes with real time reports, share these reports with anyone. You can see how many visits your blog had over a specific period, identify the traffic sources etc.

NOTES

Notes is a basic default app on iPhone. I write down anything which comes to my mind before copying the most important things into my notebook afterwards. In fact, I prefer writing down everything in my planner manually (a dedicated blogpost about my planner is coming), but sometimes when I don’t have my planner close, Notes saves me. Save for the calendar app, a few things are marked in my calendar app but my planner is my number one in terms of organisation.

SKETCHES

Sketches is a funny app to sketch (nooo really? xD) Indeed, when I have an idea in mind about a logo, a hand-lettering game for a photo. Most of the time, I use this app on my iPad with Apple Pencil because it feels more natural to sketch with a pen than with a finger, also it’s better for precision!

UNUM

Thanks to Unum, you can prepare your Instagram feed in advance. When in doubt I open Unum and add the photos I want to post to see if they will match my feed. It’s definitely an app for perfectionists. 😛

PASTE

Create digital moodboards with this app (by Wetransfer). I create boards for a topic, for example, “spring shades”. Here I will paste links, screenshots, quotes, anything related to this topic. Sometimes I find a nice blogpost but I don’t have time to read it so I paste the link in a board where I collect inspiring blogposts.

LIFESTYLE

CLEAN BEAUTY

The app all the ladies ask about on Instagram. It’s an app for those who use natural cosmetics. My twin Xenia who is a beauty freak shared this app with me. Before using a product I recevied as a PR sample or before purchasing products, I scan the ingrdient list in Clean Beauty and it shows me if there are toxic ingredients and how many.

GIVEAWAY TIME

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Now I have a little giveaway for you! Useful apps are one thing, but a protected phone is another! My screen was a mess over an entire year after falling on the floor several time! I will not let this happen to my new one so I looked for nice cases and found GoCase! I liked their products so much so I wrote them a mail. And today, In collaboration with them, I am giving away these two beautiful iPhone XS Max cases! The giveaway is open for Europe and I will pick the two lucky winners on Wednesday evening! All you have to do is to comment below which case you would like to get 🙂 The vintage cameras or the feathers! By the way, the case I am currently using is the Astrology!

I hope this article was useful to you! Please let me know below if it was! Also, if you have other apps to share with me, go ahead!Kisses and talk to you soon!

Anna

Via:: https://www.annakatina.com/blog/favourite-apps-social-media-manager-conten-creator-blogger

      

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She got her first car

By Anna Katina

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Hello my friends! The time has come… I talked a lot about it on Instagram, I asked your opinions, I made you guess the colour.. and today, the waiting is over.. today, ANNA GOT HER FIRST CAR. Some of you may know that it took me some time to get the driving license and I need to say, I love taking the bus and train. and taxi (sometimes :P). Driving is not a big passion of mine but you know, it’s part of adulting to get a car one day. And with all my stuff I need to carry in my everyday life – camera, laptop, bag, grocery shopping etc, it may be useful to have a car, even when my family has always been very supportive!! Also, it might be nice for work. Let’s see! 🙂 Anyway.

I have a car.

Whoop!

Of course there was only one option for me – the Fiat 500. It’s me, just as a car! Small, funny, cute? 😛 So where can you get a Fiat in Luxembourg? At Autopolis. I’m very happy with the car dealership, a very kind and supportive team, thank you Autopolis for the assistance!

Today, when I arrived in Bertrange, I first took a coffee at the Fiat café, because I mean – how cool is that? For example, when you have an appointment but the person you are meeting is a bit late, you get a free drink voucher so that you can relax a few minutes in the café. Very nice, it’s the little things you know:).

DIRECTION FIAT CAFÉ AUTOPOLIS

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And then for the first time, I saw that coral beauty! awawawawawaw

About the color of the year


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LIVING CORAL

A few weeks after ordering my car, my twin Xenia called me and said: do you know that the color of your car is the official color of the year? Check the Pantone Instagram! Whaat?? This is awesome!! The choice of the colour was purely my own but when I heard that I was kind of proud haha because my car is trendy too !! 😀 You have to check out Pantone’s Instagram to discover daily inspirations based on this colour, living coral, so beautiful I cannot tell you why I went for coral. My first ideas were mint and mustard but in the end, coral stole my heart. It’s a kind of red but a very soft one, with a mini touch of pink and orange inside? Hard to describe. Also, the shade depends on the weather! Wikipedia says:

“ Coral is a reddish or pinkish shade of orange. The colour is named after the sea animal also called corals ”.

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If you are from Luxembourg and you want to buy a Fiat as well, do a configuration online and if you’re a girl, do it with someone who has more experience! I would be totally lost without the help of Autopolis and the men in my family. I did not want a cabriolet, just a classic little Fiat 500. 🙂

HAPPY GIRL

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DETAILS

I like the vintage style of the car and the minimalistic bright design inside. I also love the chassis reminder inside! These are my very first impressions, now I need to practice, get to know the little car and during the coming weeks or months (depends on how often I will take the car from now on), I will share my experience with you on Instagram!


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Anyone here who is familiar with the model? If you have tips or a good advice, please share below! Also, if you have any questions about my configuration or whatever, just comment below as well and I will answer publicly so that everyone can get the answer at the same time. Kisses, Anna

Via:: https://www.annakatina.com/blog/anna-got-her-first-car-autopolis-fiat-500-coral

      

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Cuba 2018

By Anna Katina

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Peeeeeps! Hello! It’s Sunday, December 30th and I promised you to publish my trip to Cuba before 2019, so I will keep my promise!! 😀 Where should I start… Cuba was an amazing experience this Summer. I travelled a lot this year but did not publish any travel posts… Shame on me. And my external hard drive broke so I cannot publish Croatia, Tokyo, the Belgian Coast, Monaco, Roma, London 2018 anymore… But it’s a good lesson – next time, I will publish everything as soon as I’m home. but I could save the photos from Cuba right before my hard drive touched the ground. So let’s go!

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HAVANA

We started our journey in Havana. Havana has very impressive buildings! There is a big contrast between the great old buildings, colorful cars and real life. But it’s beautiful how the old times have been conserved through time. It reminds me of Venezia, where you have the feeling that time has stopped. I loved being able to do street photography here. What I could observe is that the citizens here don’t throw anything away. The big difference to us, we are used to throw away anything which can be replaced easily. We don’t have time to fix things, instead we prefer to replace them. And this my friends, is sad. In Havana, people fix things. You can see below, they fix their chairs outside, beds, because a chair is still useful and enjoyable even with a little plaster. Think about it.

So I will let you scroll down a bit, enjoy the impressions. 🙂

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I loved walking through the streets and taking photos of everything – people, buldings, dogs, benches,… The colours of Havana are so inspiring!

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° comfiest sandals from Kauf Dich Glücklich

Havana is touristic but its citizens prefer to live in their old, broken houses than moving outside the city where they are placed in apartment blocks. Also, three generations of families often live in one space and the largest, nicest rooms are often rented out to the tourists! Some of my friends said, they stayed in local houses, we went for a hotel (Hotel Parque Central Havana), located at the intersection of Prado and Neptuno and in front of a vintage car taxi station, awesome for pictures. Yes, you should take a ride with a vintage car but wear a cap or hat and put some suncream on your back and neck!!

Why does Cuba have all these colourful old cars?

“Of all the things that have shaped modern Cuba, arguably the biggest isn’t Fidel Castro, but rather America’s answer to him.

Following the revolution in 1959, which saw Castro assume power, Cuba began to trade sugar for oil with the Soviet Union. The US, which had imported around 3.5 million tonnes of Cuban sugar every year, and which was deep in the throes of the Cold War, wasn’t too keen on this development. So it was that on this day in 1960, Washington imposed a trade embargo which has effectively sealed off the island nation from the rest of the world ever since. President Eisenhower first banned American companies from exporting anything except food and medicine to Cuba, and also placed any foreign ship that traded with the country on a blacklist”. – Carkeys

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° total The Place look

Havana is the city of rum. You will taste a lot of mojitos here! They’re different from European mojitos – here, people don’t add lemon and crushed ice. Instead you get the cocktail with ice cubes and a few mint leaves. Still very good. Don’t eat (raw) fish in Cuba, we had a sick bird on board during three days;). For the rest, no problem with food or drinks, even with ice. PS. I let you discover the Bacardi logo in the city… 😀 We saw beautiful churches in the centrum. Our guide said: in Cuba we don’t believe in a religion, we believe in a God. Interesting thought!

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If you don’t have plans for the evening, you have to see the Tropicana cabaret show! I loved it!! Beautiful costumes and dancers, also the singers do live performances, not playback! You get a bottle of rum and a cigar for free with your ticket!


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Rainbow streets…

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The photo of the butcher below is my favorite. I printed it and it is hanging in a frame. I don’t know – the way that butcher looked at me in his environment fascinates me. It’s very hot outside and tropical, put on comfy shoes or sandals, shorts and a tee, you won’t need more!

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Cuba has what is known as a planned economy, most people working are actually employed by the government. As the salary is too low, people do other things beside often linked to the black market. So you could see people selling things on the street and you knew, it may be their second, non official job.

Viñales Valley

We made a day trip to discover nature around Havana. Viñales Valley is a very impressive region with green hills that make you want to get lost inside. Our guide brought us to a tobacco farm where we got a little demonstration of how cigars are made. Indeed, Tobacco and other crops are cultivated on the bottom of the valley, mostly by traditional agriculture techniques. We visited small villages around and ended our excursion with the Mural of Prehistory located in the valley of Dos Hermanas you can see in the photos. It is painted on a stone of one of the elevations and shows the evolution of life in a natural sense of Cuba. The artist’s name is Leovigildo González Morillo. For me, a nice stop but not mandatory.

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° Festival T-shirt from Lee

Food

The food in Cuba was good but “boring” which did not bother me but I was curious why every village and city had the same menu. “There was nothing wrong with the food, and it was plentiful for tourists, but it was generally quite plain and unimaginative. Meals are typically a choice of pork, chicken, lobster or fish with rice and beans. There are always plantains in some form—often as chips.” I’ve read an interesting article about this topic which you can read here.

Cienfuegos

We made another stop in Cienfuegos, a cute little village our guide recommended us to spend the night at. To be honest, a short stay would be totally enough so I don’t recommend you to stay for the night but to continue toward Trinidad the same day! You can walk along the sea and visit Valle’s palace for example!


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TRINIDAD

“ Twelve kilometers northwest of Trinidad, the Manaca-Iznaga Tower continues to watch over the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) as it did over 180 years. The tower was built in 1816, when Cuban architecture was characterized by eclecticism. The seven-story building is 45 meters high and is crowned by a watchtower from where sugarcane plantations could be seen.

According to experts, the bell on top of the tower was used to call the slaves to work and rest, and to announce prayers to the Holy Virgin in the morning, midday and afternoon. It was also used to send a warning in case of fire and runaway slaves. The watchtower was an excellent place to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the valley. For a long time, it was the most beautiful and tallest tower in the country, and the best place to watch the movement of slaves working in the sugar factories in Valle de los Ingenios.

The origin of the Iznaga Tower also has a good dose of legend, linked to the Iznaga brothers, who were rich landowners and sugar mill proprietors. One of the stories says that the tower was built as a result of a dispute between the two brothers, who were in love with the same young woman, so they decided to build a structure whose length in meters would define the winner of the woman’s heart. Another story says that Alejo had ordered to build the tower to confine his wife, who had been unfaithful to him. An unequivocal symbol of the region, the Iznaga Tower continues to be a sign of the village’s wealth as a result of the development of the sugar industry and trade.” – Wikipedia.

Our guide told us that slaves who did not obey were forced to jump from the tower to frighten the others.

Before arriving in the heart of Trinidad, we also visited the Che Guevara musem, a botanical garden and made several stops to drink a mojito or Pinacolada (we had a driver;)) ). The best pinacoladas I’ve ever tasted because here they use fresh coconut milk, so yummy!!

In Trinidad, people let their front doors open to let strangers visit their houses for a stay. They put photos of their families at the entrance so that visitors can get an inside of their private lives. They also dress up to welcome tourists, look at this beautiful lady below!

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We spent a night in Trinidad before heading toward Cayo Santa Maria! In Trinidad you can do a lot of things – we stayed in the colonial town centre and did not see the beach which apparently is beautiful! Here you can visit a local pottery, the Museum of Colonial Architecture or climb to the top of the bell tower! On the road again, we stopped at the Che Guevara Mausoleum, a memorial in Santa Clara.


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CAYO SANTA MARIA – Carribean sea…!

And then, after a whole week of exploring it was time for the sea.

Arriving in Cayo Santa Maria…

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We stayed at the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria hotel and I did absolutely nothing except walking down the beach, eat mango (bought on the road) and sunbath. At night, I loved to discover little monsters… and bingo – we saw a huge frog, crab and snail! 😀 The hotel was nice, I loved the bar where they perfectly cut my mango every morning and made the best cocktails. When I was motivated, I got up at 7 to take a long walk on the sea. The sea…. I’ve never seen such a beautiful sea, crystal clear and turquoise – WOW. And the softest whitest sand! I don’t have many pictures because all I was doing was chilling, eating, drinking, dancing at night, sleeping and taking some selfies in between.


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I loved this trip and I can only recommend it to you!

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I hope this article inspired you & was useful for you! Let me know below and if you have more information or stories to share about this country, please share them as well 🙂

Via:: https://www.annakatina.com/blog/cuba-havana-cayo-santa-maria-trinidad-spots-guide

      

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Christmas Gift Guide 2018

By Anna Katina

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Hello my friends! The waiting is over, my Christmas Gift Guide 2018 is live!!

I worked two entire days on the photos after collecting all the gifts I wanted to feature. In my selection, I present classic presents but also less classic ones, amazing deals I found etc. For example I had this idea to assemble products from Luxembourgish start-ups! Also, you will exclusively discover a new accessory brand from Luxembourg! I linked every product so that you can find it easily and added the website of each brand as well! “LU” means that the product is only available in Luxembourg. And of course, I prepared a few surprises for you as well! Now enjoy my guide and be so kind, leave me a comment at the end, I would really appreciate some feedback!

DANIEL WELLINGTON – the classic way

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Who doesn’t know the Daniel Wellington watches? The minimalistic design and affordable price made this brand so popular. I opted for the Classic St Mawes, which is also available in a gift set! The set that I chose includes a second strap, the ruby red Roselyn Nato, the Christmas colour par excellence! Currently they have -10% on all gift sets and they gave me the code KATINA which gives you a total discount of 25%, beautiful gift wrapping included! The price of the gift box with the total discount is 148,75€.

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DANIEL WELLINGTON


Horsebit loafer – the Gucci way

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Instagram inspired me to get myself a pair Gucci’s Horsebit loafer. For me, the perfect gift “from me to me”. The loafer is super comfortable and I love to wear it casually as well as for special occasions. I won’t lie, it’s the comfiest loafer I’ve ever worn! My current philosophy is quality over quantity! In fact, I stopped buying randomly cheap footwear and it feels great to have a timeless pair which goes with everything. I think from time to time, especially for Christmas, you should spoil yourself and a shoe is my personal symbol of moving forward. Gucci doesn’t deliver to Luxembourg but there is a store in Luxembourg City. The price is 595€.

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an Instant camera is always a good idea

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Everybody loves instant cameras! You can instantly take snaps which will be printed in a vintage style. It’s good fun for adults and kids. I see instax cameras at every wedding I shoot but kids also love to play around with them. My favourite is the Fuji Instax, but the Polaroid in vintage colours is beautiful for sure!! By comparing the prints, I prefer the Instax. You can get it in many stores, in Luxembourg it’s available at Saturn for example, I ordered mine at Urban Outfitters! The average price is 140€.

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a festive outfit – my gift from me to one of the ladies out there!

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So my friends, you will see, in this blogpost are hidden several surprises.. 🙂 And the first one is the following: a shopping voucher of 250€ to spend at the fashion store Ville Neuve located in the shopping centre Belle Etoile in Luxembourg. The entire outfit I wear above is from the store and I need to say, they have a nice brand selection! From Guess to Molly Bracken, you will find what you are looking for for sure! This is my look for NYE btw :D. So what you need to do in order to participate in the giveaway: comment on this blogpost what is on your wishlist for Christmas, add #christmas2018 and don’t forget to leave your e-mail address in the correct field before submitting (it will not be displayed). I will pick a winner on Monday morning!

UPDATE: The winner is Christelle! I’ve just sent you an e-mail and I need your full name please! Thanks everyone for participating, more giveaways will follow this week on my Instagram! Kisses, A.

#GIVEAWAY

VILLE NEUVE


A fair fashion backpack ° LU

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My favourite product from Akabo, a fair fashion store in Luxembourg City, is of course, the Ansvar backpack. A lovely companion for your trips! Not only does it look sweet, it’s also a lovely gift for small and big alike, a fair fashion product and you can fill it with candies or other things for an additional surprise! I took mine to Cuba, the French Riviera, Belgian Coast and Croatia this Summer, we are inseparable! You can purchase it in-store and the price is 50€.

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LOCAL START-UPS, when healthy meets yummy ° LU

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This winter I had the opportunity to discover and shoot different lovely local food start-ups! And I thought it could be a nice Christmas gift to offer a basket full of healthy & yummy newbies! In the Christmas basket I am featuring you can find cold-pressed juices, spices and nut spreads! PS. You can find the craft paper bags at Bastelkiste and baskets at Lucien Schweitzer, both located next to Place Paris in Luxembourg City!

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  • First, as you may have seen on my Instagram, there is Apothecary – a coldpressed juice store located in the shopping centre City Concorde. They work with organic vegetables and fruits, the packaging is eco-friendly, and the juices taste amazing! The price of a juice is 6€, they also make shots! The juices must be consumed within three days.

  • There is also the new brand Spice Collection. Roxane, the founder created this brand and offers several spices collected from all over the world! I love the packaging – the first spices I don’t hide in the kitchen shelves! Shop the spices at Apothecary and Luxembourg House! The average price is 7€.

  • And finally, another recent discovery of mine is Nux Organic Foods – it’s all about nut spreads with natural and organic ingredients! Same here, you can find them at Luxembourg House and Apothecary for 7€! The easiest way is to shop the entire set at Apothecary as they sell products from both brands!

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APOTHECARY / SPICE COLLECTION / NUX ORGANIC FOODS


BALLY BOOTS

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I did not plan to add shoes at all but when my friend ordered these yesterday after seing them on me, “a Christmas gift from me to me” she said, I thought I should probably share them with all of you! If you are looking for the perfect boot for this Winter, here it is. I spent a whole day in London in finding a simple but beautiful boot and the moment I gave up the search I entered the store BALLY and my soul was sold. 😛 The boot is called Ingrid! Today, you’re lucky because it’s on sale!! My bf was not so lucky :P. So it’s the moment to buy these beauties!! They have a discount of 40%, which makes 450€. Believe me, you will wear them daily and awesome legs guaranteed. PS. Most sizes are still available.

BALLY


a TRAVEL VOUCHER from We Love to Travel ° LU

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Traveling is my big passion, it’s where I feel free and where my photography can take a break from work. I spend most of my money on traveling so here is my personal favourite gift I found in Luxembourg, a travel voucher from We Love to Travel, such a cool one! It’s presented as a small suitcase with some travel must haves, like a camera, flipflops etc. On the other side you can see the value of the travel voucher. The suitcase is delivered in a cute cardboard wrapping so no extra wrapping needed from yourself! Also, you save 15% off the travel voucher you purchase! So if you would like to offer a voucher of 100€, you only pay 85€ for it, in other words, you offer more than you spend! Get the giftbox in any We Love to Travel agency across the country, I got mine at the shopping Centre Belle Etoile.

You know I love to spoil you, so I teamed up with the travel agency for the Belle Etoile advent calendar to give away a travel voucher of 100€ to one of you!!! So head over to the Belle Etoile Instagram account and participate!! You can thank me later ;)). Update: Giveaway is closed!

#GIVEAWAY

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WE LOVE TO TRAVEL


MAKEUP PLEASE

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A girl never owns enough makeup. And the safest way is definitely an eyeshadow palette from Urban Decay. Trust me. Sephora sells them all! My favourites are the new Cherry and Back Talk, both in rosé tones for sweet eyes in Winter. Useful extra, most of the palettes include a brush so no need to buy extra ones! Last month I wrote an entire article regarding my favourite cosmetics, check it out for more inspo! I buy all my palettes at Sephora in Luxembourg City and the average price is 50€.

SEPHORA


ORGANIC COSMETICS

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In my previous blogpost I showed you my skincare routine where I already talk about J’adore Bio, another local start-up but this time from the cosmetic sector. This is the perfect gift for girls. Dear boys, make your girl happy with natural cosmetics! The three products featured above are my current favourites for a present because they are different, the packaging is perfect and the stories behind each is unique. In fact, J’adore Bio works with small businesses from Europe. The lipsticks you see are lipbalms with 4 (!!!) ingredients only, tha naked one has only 3!!

PREVIOUS BLOGPOST ABOUT MY SKINCARE ROUTINE


DOCS foreva

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Dr Martens, footwear for any age. Imagine you unwrap your Christmas present and you find a pair of Docs inside! I don’t know about you, but my reaction would be – damn, that’s freakin awesome! Why is this shoe so great? Well, Docs are simply rock’n’roll. You look cool immediately no matter how chic or girlie the rest of your outfit is and that’s why I like them, they break the rules + they’re compfy, I think that every girl should have a pair of these. The look below was the result of a fashion challenge organized by Belle Etoile, how about a tutu with docs for Xmas or NYE? 😀 (tutu from Ville Neuve, available in different colours) and Docs from Sacha Shoes also located at Belle Etoile.

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Photo by Yves Kortum

DR MARTENS


A makeup bag created by a Luxembourgish Designer

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This is an exclusive first communication about a new brand, it has launched today my friends!! And I’m proud to announce you the news! Actë Nation is a new accessory brand from Luxembourg, created by a Luxembourgish lady, Maïté, and the products are made in Spain! The idea behind the “Win & Wyn, the Twin Pouch” is that it opens up like a transparent book so you can easily find what you need. What I particularely like about the pouche is that from now on, you don’t need the disposable plastic bags for the control check at the airports anymore. You can easily detach one side of the pouch and use it for your plane trips! The pouches are available in 8 different colours and for me, it’s an amazing gift for a woman with style. Why not filling it with a few vegan cosmetics for an extra surprise;)? The price of a pouch is 165€ – i know! But you need to know that it’s a superior quality, a local designer product and handmade in Spain. With my code “ANNA20” you get a discount of 20% until December 31! And because you were so supportive this year… I am giving away one Pouche on Instagram tomorrow, December 13, open for Europe !

#GIVEAWAY

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ACTE NATION


DESENIO – WALL ART FROM SWEDEN

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Last but not least, I would like to present you Desenio, I wrote about this brand in another post but I love the brand so much so I ordered new posters and frames and wanted to show you some! If you want to re-decorate your bedroom or office for the new year, this will be a good help! But it can be a great Christmas present for you loved ones as well! There is something for every taste, from inspirational quotes to moody forest photos! Also, the paper quality is very good, not comparable to classic shiny posters. The frames are great too: light and minimalistic, available in several colours!

I orderered many posters but here you can see which ones I added to my home office yesterday. The Autumn Forest poster and Planet Mars go so well together, don’t they? The third photo is my own! I took it at the Belgian coast last Summer. Get a discount of 25% my friends with the code ANNAK25, only valid until tomorrow (not valid on frames and handpicked/collaboration posters)!

DESENIO

I also need the frames for the Troc’n’Brol exhibition, an alternative Christmas market held this Friday evening at the Rotondes in Luxembourg City. I sure hope to see some of you! You can find all the infos in my previous blogpost! The idea is not to buy an artwork but to make an exchange. Of course, if there is a photo that you absolutely want, I can sell it to you privately! It will be all about travel photography for my part! 🙂 I am exhibiting some of my Cuba photos I’ve not shared with anyone until now… Below a little preview!

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So my friends, I hope that I could inspire you with this new gift guide! As you can see, I added three giveaways for you so make sure to participate if you like the gifts! In Luxembourg City, you can find other cute gifts at the alternative Christmas market Troc’n’Brol this Friday and at the Stijlmarkt on Saturday and Sunday! Thanks for reading, love A.

Via:: https://www.annakatina.com/blog/christmas-gift-guide-2018-ideas

      

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Save the date! Troc'n'Brol 2018

By Anna Katina

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Yes, that’s my twin Xenia a few years ago with black, long hair!! 😀

TROC’N’BROL – an alternative Christmas market!

It’s that time of the year again and I’m so excited!! December 14, I’m getting ready!!

Every year, I participate to Troc’n’Brol. For me, it’s the coolest yearly event in Luxembourg! First, I love to catch-up with with our local artists and art lovers, enjoy the exhibition (more than 20 exhibitors), drink warm wine.. And of course, it’s always a pleasure read your cute or not so cute offers that YOU, dear visitors propose in exchange of your favourite creations! In fact, Troc’n’Brol is not a standard creators market.. First of all, it’s all about art, the exhibitors are graphic designers, photographers, painters, jewellery designers etc. I usually exhibit my photos or sketches – let me surprise you !! And secondly.. the idea is not to buy an artwork with money!

Just as Christophe says: “Visitors can then bid on all artworks, although money is not the currency here. In order to win an artwork, bids have to be some kind of exchangeable thing or service. Bids can be pretty much anything, from a meal, to another piece of art, to some free lessons, and so on. Original and creative bids are usually appreciated by the artists, while food is often refused”. The best offers I received last year were huge plants, a solo concert and a handmade cosmetic set! Anyone can participate, any barter can be proposed! What I like to do as well is to decorate my wall and to write down some things that I’d like to get in exchange, things that I need etc. Some artists remain anonymous, let’s see how I will do it this time.

Troc’n’Brol opens at 18:00 in a festive atmosphere with music, drinks and snacks – the perfect Friday night plan for art lovers!

HOW TO MAKE AN OFFER?

To make an offer, simply attach a post-it to the desired work (there are plenty of post-its waiting for you), with the following details in legible handwriting:

> Your Exchange Offer (detailed)

> Your (correct) first and last name

> an opportunity to contact (telephone number or e-mail address)

At around 23h00, the offers selected by the artists will be announced and displayed at the works. The works and the offerings remain hanging until midnight, so that the artists have the opportunity to organize the barter with the lucky chosen ones, and all other visitors can admire the expressiveness of the selected proposals. If your offer is selected but you left earlier, don’t worry, the artist will contact you if you left your mail address or phone number!

Oh and my twin Xenia participates as well! Below are some photos I took during the previous editions! I really hope to meet some of you my friends! PS. The days after, on Saturday 15 & Sunday 16, Stijlmarkt will fill the Hall Victor Hugo, another cool opportunity to find a cute Christmas gift. Over 100 local designers and small brands will sell their products, I will give away 2 entrances this week on Instagram!

Well for me, that weekend definetely sounds like a big plan!

14/12 @ ROTONDES from 18h00 to 01h00

free entrance

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Read my article of the 2015 edition and the 2014 edition !

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additional info in French and German here.

ROTONDES

Place des Rotondes, 2448 Luxemburg

Via:: https://www.annakatina.com/blog/trocnbrol-2018-creators-market-luxembourg

      

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My skincare routine

By Anna Katina

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Dear friends, first of all – I can’t believe I did not blog since July. What the.. But I’m back and I will blog once a month at least from now because I missed this so much. So, after many request and questions about my skin I decided to write about all the products I use – face, lips, body, hands & nails and hair. Plus at the end – I will quickly share my makeup routine. So, as I only buy organic food (I insist on BUY because in restaurants or at dinners with friends I don’t ask for organic food, I eat what I get), I also want to feed my skin with natural and organic ‘food’. I buy most of my products at J’adore Bio, Lush Cosmetics, drugstores and other stores selling natural labels. I actually discovered a few interesting labels zat Urban Outfitters. When I buy cosmetics (and many of you asked for this app on Instagram) I first check its ingredients on the Clean Beauty app. It tells me how many toxic ingredients to product hides and indicates the level of toxicity.

FACE

So let’s start with the face. My skin is pretty normal I would say. I try to use the most natural and organic products because the facial skin is my most precious one. It is also the only part of my body I really take care of on a regular basis to be honest. I believe that most of the work is done by your genes but with all the limestone in water, dirt in the air etc, toxins,.. I think that a good skincare routine is important. I will start with the cleansing. How do I clean my face.

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Most of the time I clean my face with water and the anti-pollution cleansing Nuxe Bio Beauté foam, an organic certified product. It carefully removes makeup (I don’t use a lot of makeup so I don’t know how it works for a 3cm foundation layer on the face :P) and my skin feels soft and clean afterwards. When I don’t wear makeup or when I’m in a place where I don’t know how clean the tap water is, or just to alternate, I don’t use water to clean my face at all. I use the natural Clochee Micellar water from J’adore Bio which I apply with a cotton pad. It also removes makeup and dirt, no need to rub or rinse. The main ingredients are Damask Rose Hydrosol and Orange Blossom Hydrosol.

MASKS & SCRUBS

Once a week I do a face mask. Here, I use the Bodyshop Matcha mask (a great mask, not the best ingredients but still ok), or the Lush Cosmetics Warrior mask with fresh garlic inside and tea tree oil. From time to time, I apply the organic Naobay peeling milk, a face scrub, to remove dead skin cells and impurities, my skin feels super soft afterwards. My twin brought me this scrub from Madrid, I love it!

When I have enough time, I transform my bathroom into a Lush Cosmetics kitchen! I then throw a bath bomb and a bubble bar into the bath tub and do my masks, peelings, massages. The Christmas collection this year is amazing!! I want to eat everything!! I use the Good Times Roll cleanser for face and body, apply the garlic mask afterwards and relax.

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MOISTURISING

Now comes to most important part, moisturising.

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I discovered the Spanish Store Miin Korean Cosmetics in Paris thanks to my twin (who is a beauty freak). They sell Korean cosmetics only! Beauty freaks say that Korean cosmetics are the best in the world. Koreans follow a very strict routine, for me, it’s a bit too long, 9 obligatory daily steps. I decided to do 4-6 steps: cleanser, (mask or and peeling), tonic, serum, cream – basta. At Miin, I bought three products from the brand Aromatica, it’s not a very cheap brand but the ingredients are great and the ratings too. Also, I received the cutest bowknot headband (so Korean!) and totebag at the store, looove.

  1. Toner

So after cleaning my face, I apply the Tea Tree Balancing Toner. It’s apparently one of the best in the market for problematic or acne-prone skin. I don’t have these problems but sometimes my skin is oily, sometimes it’s moody, so I went for this one. The toner is formulated with tea, chamomile and aloe vera. It calms irritated skin, balances the pH levels and regulates the production of sebum without drying it out. It also contains niacin, an ingredient that brightens your skin. The main benefits of tea tree are its antiseptic properties. I apply it with a cotton.

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2. Serum

After the toner I pour 2-3 drops of the Rose Absolute First Serum in my hands and dab gently with fingertips. The serum promises to combat wrinkles and protect the skin. Its concentrated formula contains Damask rose oil (I realise only now that I have this obsession with roses..) and organic herbal extracts which provide great vitality.

3. Cream

Finally, after the serum, I apply the cream Rose Absolute Vital fluid. The moisturizing lotion, formulated with Damask rose oil and aloe vera makes the skin feel soft and radiant.

This is what I do every morning and evening.

When I’m super tired and I don’t feel like doing anything except falling into my bed, or when I feel like I need to wakeup and I’m in a rush, I just apply 100% rosewater (which I store in the fridge) with a cotton pad. But this is rare, but sometimes – yeah it happens. Last but not least, I wanted to feature a product I buy every year, the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (I linked the Christmas edition!). Once a week, instead of the Aromatica serum and cream, I apply this serum to alternate. It is formulated with ingredients like Lavender Essential Oil and Evening Primrose Oil and helps replenish skin for a visibly smoother, more radiant appearance.

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LIPS

For the lips I use two products, not everyday, mostly when it’s cold outside. I use the organic Skin & Tonic Rose Lip Balm from J’adore Bio (100% natural & organic) and the Herbivore Coco Rose lip balm I bought in Tokyo earlier this year. Both contain rose extracts of course.. 😛

PS. Do yo see that pink face roller in the photo? This is my new toy. for the face!! It’s a quartz face roller! The roller is known for improving blood circulation and skin tone, elasticity of the skin, promoting lymphatic drainage, reducing puffiness, wrinkles and dark under eye circles, eliminating toxins, tightening and reducing pore size. Rose Quartz is the stone of love. It corresponds to heart chakra, the energy center of love and stands for inner and outer beauty! As I am currently reading a lot about crystals, this product became my new home spa tool. I gently pressure while rolling it from the center of my face in upward and outward motions. You can find it on Amazon for example, I found mine at Urban Outfitters.

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BODY

So, for my body, I use the following products:

  • the Botanical Bodywash from J’adore Bio – an organic showergel (with rose essentials oil and other essential oils)

  • the organic Rose Fudge Whipped Body Butter (omg roses again xD). I love this body butter!! It looks like whipped cream, it feels good on my skin and the this packaging !! I found mine at Urban Outfitters. It’ takes a few minutes to penetrate, use it when you have a bit of time

  • for the very dry parts of my body in Winter especially, I apply the Organic Healing Balm from the Gentle Label (finger tips, feet, knees etc). It’s also a good treatment for mosquito bites, cuts and burns – well the perfect product for catastrophes like me. I found this product somewhere in Tokyo but I linked their official website.

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  • oh and the deo. After using all kinds of spays and roll-ons I switched to the most natural deodorant – the stone crystal deodorant. A product made of salts and minerals. Not only it is free of alcohol and all possible toxins and perfumes, but it also works for real. Plus it is very economical, ecological and I love to use it. I use to buy mine abroad as in Luxembourg they are more expensive and small. If you’re on the website of J’adore Bio, they have a nice one too.

Oh and below there is is another fun product just like my Lush bath bombs. It is a pastel pink (of course) cutie: Exfoliating Sugar Cubes from Harper + Ari. I take a cube with me into the shower and start scrubbing, love it. And the packaging..!! Discovered at Urban Outfitters.

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HANDS

  • To wash my hands I use the organic L’Esperluète organic soap Nr 6 from J’adore Bio – organic, handmade, ecological, amazing packaging and story behind. And the cedarwood scent. O-EM-J

  • To moisturise, I use the Sicilian Sunrise Hand Cream from & Other Stories. Not the most natural / organic ingredient list but I like the texture, smell and packaging.

  • And for my cuticle and nails, I use the Vitry oil. Especially after a manicure, my hands are often very dry. I found it in a drugstore in Luxembourg City and I’m very happy with it. It contains grape seed oil and it takes a few minutes to penetrate, I apply it before going to bed.

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HAIR

I don’t have a hair care routine at the moment but I am currently testing the Source range by L’Oréal Pro and the new Kérastase Aura Botanica collection, both available at Ferber. I like both collections, they are paraben and silicon free and are based on natural ingredients. I am trying to figure out which one suits me better, I will make an update as soon as I know for sure what’s best for me. A mask that I really like is the from the Circle Chronicles, also available at Ferber. And another mask I use is the Furterer Hydrating Shine mask available in most drugstores.

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MAKEUP

So – done with skin care, I now want to share my makeup routine with you as well. To be honest, apart from the foundation, I don’t look at the ingredients of the products, for me – makeup is candy and candies are made of all kinds of ingredients.. But candy is fun and so is makeup. So here we go.

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NOSE & CHEEKS

I use foundation only on my nose because it gets red as soon as it gets a bit too hot inside a room. I use a foundation from Vichy available in most drugstores. My highlighter for the cheek bones is the Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb, available at Sephora, look at this beauty below! I also use the wonderful Pixi Beauty highlighters for a warmer touch, depends on my mood! My blush is from Chanel, it’s the Rouge Profond 320, similar one are purchasable at the Paris 8 Parfumerie!

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EYES

The only mascara that I use is the Terribly by Terry – it’s expensive but it has wonderful properties: it’s removable with water only and it activates lash growth thanks to a serum enriched technology. I see results after using if for 2 years. As for the eyeshadow, I love the Urban Decay palettes so much. The newest, Cherry, is my new to-go palette, the shades are perfect. Pink tones. of course. 😛 Everything from Sephora, check out the links. The cute pastel pink brush is from Monoprix!

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Sometimes I like to add some glitter to my face, so I use the Pixi Beauty liquid eyeshadows called Fairy Lights, which I love – so happy they sent me their products a few months ago, I absolutely love these!! These liquid glimmer eyeshadows are infused with chamomile and rose extracts (yep… :P) to soothe and hydrate.

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LIPS

My favourite lipsticks are from MAC, my daily one is the Persistence. It has a non-shine matte finish and the colour is just perfect. I once asked my followers on Instagram for MAC lipstick recommendations, most said: Velvet Teddy, it’s a nice one but not my favourite.

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So ladies, what do you think of this? Did you know all these brands and stores? Do you buy organic cosmetics? Have you heard of the face roller already? Are you following the Korean routine? I want to know! 🙂 I hope you liked this article, xx

PS. On Friday, November 16, I will demonstrate my routine on Instagram so that you can see how it’s done and the final look. Stay tuned!

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Via:: https://www.annakatina.com/blog/my-skincare-routine-beauty-cosmetics

      

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