Quick, easy make up for work

Wednesday, May 21st 2014 Makeup

I’m going to be honest with you, dear readers. Despite being quite vain, I’m also incredibly lazy. This causes a bit of a conundrum for me on weekdays – I have to leave the house by 7:30am, and I also love to sleep in and eat breakfast while staring blearily at my twitter feed. A lot of the time I do just go to work barefaced, but sometimes I like to make the effort to get made up. In this post I’m going to demonstrate two of my go-to lazy girl’s work make up looks, for days where I want to wear make up but have minimal time. I apologise in advance for the photos, the lighting situation is not ideal at that time of day!

Both of them start with me doing my usual base routine as seen here. Sometimes I use a BB cream instead but currently I’m too dark for my garnier one and too light for my Maybelline one, so foundation it is! I also always fill in my brows, using one of the techniques I outlined in my previous post on eyebrows.

Look number one is almost no-make up make up, with the exception of the shimmer in the eyeshadow. One of my favourite products is this Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow, in the shade Bad to the bronze. It’s very easy to apply, I just use my index finger to rub it all over lid. Maybelline advertises that it will have 24 hour wear without creasing or fading. I haven’t tested it for 24 hours, but I’ve worn it for about 15 hours and it still looked great, even without eye primer which I find isn’t actually necessary with it.

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If I have a bit more time I will use my Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, but mostly I just use a brown eyeliner pencil  to line against my lashes – no time for laboring over winged eyeliner when I’m rushing out the door. Then I’ll apply a couple of coats of mascara – lately it has been a deluxe sample from Smashbox – and a fairly neutral lipstick like Natio lipstick in Sugar or Revlon Lip Butter in sugar plum, both of which live in my handbag. This look is really simple and easy, while making me look much more put together on a busy morning.

Quick and easy make up

The finished look

One of my other lazy make up looks has been developed more recently, as I got more brave with my make up choices. The goal of this look is to distract people from the absence of much eye make up with VERY BRIGHT LIPS. It happened purely by accident the other morning – I’d spent too long perfectly buffing my foundation and then realised I only had a couple of minutes left. I quickly put on some mascara, and grabbed the nearest lipstick that had been left out. It was my Kardashian Beauty En-Joystick in Rose Parade, – I briefly thought it might be a bit much, but then I figured YOLO and rolled with it. I put it on and off I went to catch the bus.

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Fairly early in the day a male coworker, older than my dad and definitely not a fashionista, came over to my desk and jumped back in mock-shock at how bright my lipstick was. He said it was very nice though, which was a relief. The girls in the office complimented it too, and it lasted surprisingly well. I was left with a faded red lip colour after a cup of coffe, numerous glasses of water and a pizza lunch – not too bad. I reapplied my lipstick after lunch which lasted okay until I got home. In my book, if a lipstick is still visible by lunch time, then it’s done it’s job. I don’t expect all day wear, as anything which is able to do so is typically quite drying.

So readers, do you have any lazy girl make up tips for me? What sort of make up do you typically wear on work day? Tell me in the comments section, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Lena x

 

Work beauty supplies

Sunday, May 18th 2014 Uncategorised

I spend around 40 hours a week sitting at my office desk, and for someone as beauty obsessed as me, that means that I need to keep some supplies with me. Of course I have a fair bit of things in my hand bag – lipsticks, hand cream, hair brush etc, but I like to have them at my desk as well. The people I work with find it a bit amusing but they have benefited from it from time to time. I’ll be showing and explaining what they all are, and why I think they are essential. Your needs and situation may vary of course, so let me know in the comments section what you have at your work.

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Top left: Deodorant – pretty self explanatory why this might come in handy. Next is Batiste dry shampoo which is an incredible invention, and it’s useful if I get to work and realise my hair is a little bit greasy. it has a pleasant cherry smell which is a nice bonus, and doesn’t leave any white residue. Then there are some eye drops for if my eyes get dry from staring at the screen all day. The hair brush is for if my hair is knotted, or needed to brush the dry shampoo through. I have a hand sanitiser because the world is a gross place, and our bathroom soap at work dries out my hands. Next up is Clinique Moisture Surge – this is great if my skin is dry during the day. It was $10 for this little pot at Mecca Cosmetica which is probably excessive but it’s nice to feel fancy sometimes. Then I have a sample of Marc Jacobs Dot perfume which is really lovely – I sometimes forget to put perfume on in the morning and I like to smell nice. Nivea Lip butter in Caramel cream is an incredible lip balm, smells delicious and is very moisturising. Speaking of moistursiing balm, I have Lush Lemony Flutter. This cult item is a great cuticle butter and all over hand lotion. Again, it smells delicious – scents seem to be a bit of a recurring theme here.

I got sent the Carmex lip balm for free, and I don’t even know why I’ve kept it as I was not a fan of it at all. You can read my scathing review on Beauty review here. The small bag with cotton buds and balls and a nail file were part of my gift from my Twitter Secret Santa, and so were a few of the other times coming up. The fresh breath spray comes in handy after coffees or a garlic filled lunch. I do also have a toothbush and toothpaste which aren’t pictured here. My secret santa also included the Malin + Goetz lip balm and moisturiser. I’ve never seen these products in NZ stores so that was a bit exciting for me. The Kiehls body lotion sample and the Dr Hasuchka hand cream sample were also from my secret santa. The Lucas Pawpaw ointment is one of my favourite lip balms. If I have a dry nose in winter from being blowing it a lot, or just the dry wing, I can even put some on there. Last of all is my Planet Earth hand cream. I don’t use it as much recently since getting the Lemony Flutter but it is an old favourite.

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It may look like a lot of products but most of them pack away into the bag from my secret santa. My most recently used products sit out by my computer monitor so that I can easily access them.

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I feel a bit high maintenance for having so much of that stuff there, but I like to be prepared. I also have a big tea and food stash as well, which has been very useful to me. I’ve never been a scout or anything but I do like to be prepared. I don’t really have any make up there, mostly because I don’t have duplicates of any of my products because a lot of them are fairly pricey. I rarely retouch anything but lip products during the day as my base routine and use of primers means that my foundation holds well.

What sort of things do you keep at your work? Are you inspired by this beauty hoard and are going to stock up your desk? Let me know!

Lena x

Product review: Sinful Colors Nail Polishes

Thursday, May 15th 2014 Nails

Today I’m going to do a review of a couple of Sinful Colors nail polishes that I purchased recently. It’s a brand that I had seen online, but never seen in person until recently. They were $5.99 each, which is a really good price considering OPI and Orly are around $25-$30 each. The colours are Dancing Nails #835, which is a shimmery red, and Frenzy #922 which is a glittery purple.

Sinful Colors Dancing Nails and Frenzy polishes

Sinful Colors Dancing Nails (left) and Frenzy, (right) polishes

The formula of Dancing Nails was a little bit difficult to work with. I found that it was a bit runny, which meant my manicure looked a bit sloppy, until I got the hang of using much less in my brush. The photos below show that it my application wasn’t amazing but I think in future it’d look better.I wore Dancing Nails on my fingernails for 4 days and then removed it as my friend wanted to use me as a model for her nail tech course. My polish was just starting to show wear on the tips of some of the nails, and I think I easily could have worn it for a week without it chipping. I did use Orly Bonder base coat and Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Top coat, as I always do, and that prolongs wear. I hate chipped nail polish, I always take it off as soon as possible when it happens as I think it looks really unprofessional. I’m planning an article about how I paint my nails to have long lasting manicures soon, so keep an eye out.

dancing nails

Dancing Nails

Frenzy on the other hand was terrible, and I didn’t actually finish painting my toenails with it. The polish was really runny, it just ran right into the cuticles even though my foot was flat on the floor. Despite how it looked in the bottle, on the nail it looked more like a clear polish with glitter in it rather than a solid glittery purple, if that makes sense. I will probably keep this to use over the top of other polishes but I doubt I’ll use it on it’s own again as I have other, far superior glittery purple polishes. I strongly suggest avoiding this polish or others that look similar as it’s pretty much unusable. The picture only shows two nails as I gave up with it after that. It looks like I’m the sloppiest nail painter ever but really it’s just the worst polish ever. Also, my toes look gross that close up – sorry!

Sinful Colors Frenzy

Sinful Colors has a great range of colours, and you can buy them in NZ at Kmart and also some pharmacies – I got these at Life Pharmacy in Takapuna, Auckland. Their website informs me that their polishes are free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP, if that’s something that’s important to you. Although, Brightest Bulb in the Box says that polishes that do contain those ingredients are generally pretty safe anyway.

My overall conclusion is that glitters from Sinful Colors should probably be avoided, but their other kinds of polishes are worth a try. I’d like to know if any of you have tried them, and what you think – let me know in the comments section.

Lena x

Product review: Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub

Sunday, May 11th 2014 Skincare


Today I’m going to review Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub. When I was staying with my friend last month in Australia I was examining the products in her shower, as you do, and I opened up this body scrub. The smell was amazing, I almost wanted to eat it – it’s a maple scent, and it smells just like maple syrup. She said it not only smelled great but made her skin smooth, and I was sold. My skin on my legs, upper arms, and butt can be rough, so I was excited by the prospect of making them nice and soft. The tub is 300ml, and it cost me $18.95 Australian dollars, ($20.50 NZD) at Mecca Cosmetica. Unfortunately Mecca in New Zealand doesn’t stock Soap and Glory, but I have emailed them asking them to, so hopefully they’ll realise there’s a demand and stock it. That might be wishful thinking though. I’ve been using it once or twice a week now for a month and I don’t seem to have made much of a dent, so I think it will last me for quite a while. Image Soap and Glory describe it on their website as follows: 

SMOOTHIE STAR BREAKFAST SCRUB: OAT, SHEA BUTTER AND SUGAR BODY SMOOTHER. Exfoliator with organic cupuacu bio scrubs, bananas, almond and honey extracts. Features a great new maple fragrance.

Being the curious person that I am, I had to look up to see what ‘organic cupuacu bio scrubs’ are, and it turns out that Cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum) is a tropical rainforest tree related to cacao. The cacao tree’s seeds are cocoa beans, which we all know and love as that’s the origin of chocolate. The pulp of Cupuacu seeds are very hyrdating according to Wikipedia, which partially explains why this scrub is so moisturising. I’ve tried other body scrubs before that left my skin feeling dry and tight, but I don’t get that effect at all using this product. Shea butter is also a very moisturising ingredient which is present in the product, as is Glycerin which is the first ingredient. A full ingredient list can be found here.

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The inside of a Cupuacu fruit, in case you’re interested

I keep the scrub in my shower, to remind me to use it regularly – otherwise it would likely sit in my box of products that may never get used up, and that would be a real waste. I’ve taken to using it when my conditioner is in my hair, as it helps me to fill in a couple of minutes. I just scoop up a bit in my fingers, rub it between my hands to soften it and rub it onto my skin, before rinsing off. I have to be careful to rinse out the bath as it can make a bit of a mess and I don’t want to make a slipping hazard in there as a result of my quest for beauty Since starting to use this scrub I have noticed a real improvement in the texture of the skin on my body, both the way that it feels as well as how it looks. I used it on my legs before shaving the other day and they felt considerably softer because all of the dead and dry skin had been removed. I plan to keep using it regularly during this winter, so that my skin stays soft and smooth. Often I get to summer and feel like I need to intensely scrub all the dry, flaky, skin off my body, but this time I’m going to stay on top of it! It seems that other people agree with me about this great scrub, after 24 reviews on MakeupAlley it has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, and 91% would buy again. If you can find somewhere where this scrub is sold, I would definitely recommend that you buy it to get silky smooth and delicious smelling skin. Lena x

The Seven Deadly Sins of Makeup

Saturday, May 10th 2014 Uncategorised

My friend tagged me to do this, so here goes!

Greed: What’s your most expensive beauty item?

I don’t really have many things that are that expensive, I tend to have a lot of cheaper products rather than expensive ones.My Naked 3 palette retails for about $52 USD but I didn’t personally buy it. So the next most expensive thing is probably a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow. I still can’t believe I paid $50 for a grey eyeshadow to use on my eyebrows. It does match really well, but I’m sure I could have got a cheaper version. However, the makeup artist taught me how to fill in my eyebrows, and she did pretty eyes and lips on me too, so I feel like I got my money’s worth in that sense. All of the make up artists I’ve met at Bobbi Brown’s Britomart store are really helpful, as well as at their other counters.

Wrath: What item do you have a love/hate relationship with?

MASCARA. I love the way it looks, but I have bought so many duds in my life. Either they make my lashes clumpy, or the wand’s shape means I get mascara under my eyes, or it rubs on my skin easily. So many frustrations have come with mascara. You can’t usually get testers, not that I’d really want to use a gross tester on my eyes, so it’s always a bit of a guessing game. When it’s right, it looks so good though. Any recommendations for mascara, dear followers?

Gluttony: What brand takes up most of your collection?

It’s a real mix of brands, I use a range of different products. I have about 9 MAC products, and that is probably the most of any one brand.

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Sloth: What product do you neglect the most due to laziness?

I neglect make up other than lipstick most days of the week, so does that count? I tend to be all or nothing with my make up. I’ve been neglecting trying my new ELF highlighter as I’m scared of looking stupid, but I plan on giving it a try tonight.

Pride: What product gives you the most confidence?

Lipstick.  Even when I have no other make up on, I feel like lipstick makes me look more put together and professional which always makes me feel confident.

Lust: Which item is top of your beauty wishlist?

I really want to get a dark purple lipstick, like Harlot from Blush Baby – I just need to get brave enough to wear it. I also want a Tangle Teezer, my hair has been getting so knotty since it has been long.

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Envy: Which makeup product/look is great on others but not on you?

Bold, winged eyeliner. Not much of my eyelid is visible when my eyes are open, so wearing eyeliner like that means none of my eye make up really shows up, and so they can look kind of small.

 

An interview with my mum!

Tuesday, May 6th 2014 Uncategorised

In honour of Mother’s Day I asked my mum to answer a few questions about beauty.

She is one of my biggest beauty role models, I’m always passing on great tips of hers like combing your hair in small sections from the bottom up, and always wearing sunscreen. I wouldn’t dare give away her age but I’m sure you’d all agree that she looks very youthful.

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1.    Who is your beauty biggest inspiration?

Definitely not my mother – she was married to a pharmacist and unless she was going out to a special event she barely wore more than a slash of lipstick. I get inspired if I see a movie and like the person’s makeup – eg the movie Chocolat – the lady wore red lipstick and red shoes – so I went straight out and bought both.

2.    What beauty sins are you guilty of?

Occasionally I line the inner rim of my eyes with eyeliner – this is a terrible hangover from the 80’s that I found very hard to give up.

(editor’s note: she also never takes her make up off before bed)

3.    You’re running late – choose 3 the only 3 make up items you would apply.

Mineral makeup powder, eyeliner and lipstick/gloss

4.    What’s your favourite lip balm?

Apart from wearing Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on my lips when I was a tween (to attract boys!) – I have never used a lip balm.

(editor’s note: whaaaat! I put on lip balm several times a day. This is not fair)

5.    Worst beauty item you’ve tried, and what was so bad about it?

Eyelash curlers – they do nothing for me and I used to get sucked into buying them and then I would use them and then remember they were a waste of money.

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6.    What hot beauty tips do you have for me/my readers?

If you’re short on space or time, you can just use a blusher brush and put it on your cheeks and eyelids, and then also on your lips (follow up with a bit of clear gloss)

7.    What do you like doing best – eye makeup or lips?

Neither – I don’t particularly enjoy putting on makeup as it is time consuming and just a necessity. If I had to choose – it would be eyes as lips is just putting on lipstick – big deal

8.    Brushes or hands?

Hands of course – much much faster, much cleaner and you don’t waste foundation on your brush.

9.    Who’s your favourite beauty blogger?

I have never read a beauty blog except for this one – and I love it!

(It might not be that genuine of a compliment but I’ll take it)

10.        What are some of your favourite beauty products?

I have about a thousand bottles of foundation – purchased during 40% off sales. I have some mac eyeshadows back from when I used to buy that brand, and a dozen lipsticks, a few mascaras, eyeliners, eyeshadows, blushers and miscellaneous items. Do I have a favourite? If I had to choose one, it would be my mineral makeup powder, takes 1min to apply and gives me a lovely “lift”

(She also has enough hair serums to open up a shop)

Thanks for answering these questions for me Mum! The thousand bottles of foundation is definitely true, it’s a shame that we aren’t the same colour or else I’d generously take them off your hands. I can’t wait for my next visit over to you so we can spend hours at Priceline and Chemist Warehouse together. Even though you always get us matching outfits which I am somewhat less fond of haha.Image

Has your mum given you some good beauty tips? I’d love to hear them. Happy Mother’s Day to any mothers among my readers.

Lena x

Liebester award

Sunday, May 4th 2014 Uncategorised

I’ve been nominated by Fatima from Lipsticks and Coffee for a Liebster award. It’s a way of getting to know other up and coming bloggers, and I’m excited to do this!

The Liebster Award rules:

  • You must link back to the person who nominated you;
  • You must answer the 11 questions given to you by the nominee before you;
  • You must pick 11 nominees with under 200 (or 2000 if you want to go with that) followers to answer your questions;
  • You cannot nominate the person who nominated you;
  • You must let the people you nominate know they have been nominated

Questions:

  1. Where do you buy most of your beauty products from?I buy most of them at Farmers, because most of them are impulse buys. Recently I’ve been buying from iherb.com a lot, as well as maccosmetics.com
  2. What is your favourite post on your blog So far it’s been my favourite lipsticks post. Lipstick is one of my major loves, and the photos turned out really nicely too.
  3. Are you an optimistic person? Not really, although I’ve been trying to be more optimistic lately.
  4. What is the last product that you bought because a blogger recommended it? It’s not just that a blogger recommended it, but the Naked 3 palette I got recently is something I wanted after seeing all kinds of bloggers go crazy over it, and also I thought it would just look really awesome on me – and it does.
  5. Describe your favourite person He is the most kind, supportive and loving person ever. He’s also REALLY cute and patiently takes photos of me for my blog, and watches silly tv shows with me.

    Me and Sam at a friend's wedding earlier this year

    Me and Sam at a friend’s wedding earlier this year

  6. What are some of your holy grail products? Rimmel Stay Matte powder is the besssssst powder ever and I love that it’s not coloured because I get more tan in summer, and more pale in winter. Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze might be my favourite eye colour because I can just swipe it on in 2 seconds and I always get compliments when I wear it. Also, MAC Pro Longwear concealer which I raved about yesterday.
  7. What are three things you’d like to achieve in the next year? I’d like to get a job that using my degree – Geography/Environmental Management. I’d also like my blog to be more popular, have more readers. I’d also like to move to a bigger flat – our place is tiny.
  8. Describe your ultimate birthday experience Be woken up with a cup of tea by my man, go out to breakfast at one of my favourite cafes – have eggs benedict and a coffee, the breakfast of the gods! Then maybe have a look around the shops, or sit around at home and read, it’s just nice to have a break and relax. Then have dinner with my family and drinks with my friends!
  9. What are some of the most used apps on your phone? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit is Fun.
  10. What color is your room? ‘Half Spanish white’ aka off-white. It’s not exciting
  11. How long does it usually take you to get ready in the morning? Most mornings it’s about 40 minutes from getting up to walking out the door, but I don’t usually wear much make up to work because I just sit at a computer all day and it doesn’t really feel worth the effort. Most of that time is consumed by sitting down with my toast and catching up on the internet on my phone, or looking for my shoes or something.

Questions for my nominees

  1. Who is your beauty biggest inspiration?
  2. What beauty sins are you guilty of?
  3. What has been the best moment so far this year?
  4. What inspired you to get into blogging?
  5. How do you cheer yourself up when you’re sad?
  6. Favourite smell – could be food, flowers, or perfume etc?
  7. You’re running late – choose 3 the only 3 make up items you would apply.
  8. What’s your favourite lip balm?
  9. Worst beauty item you’ve tried, and what was so bad about it?
  10. Who is your favourite beauty blogger?
  11. And who is your favourite beauty vlogger/youtuber?

My nominees: I’m not actually sure how many followers all of these have, but I’ll do it anyway! I don’t have 11, only 9, I don’t really follow that many blogs!

Gosh, that post was a lot more effort than I anticipated in the beginning! It’s interesting seeing other blogs through these little awards though, it’s how I’ve found some of my favourites. Lena x

My base routine

Saturday, May 3rd 2014 Makeup

To me, one of the most important parts of a make up look is the base. It doesn’t matter how fabulous your eyeshadow looks if your foundation doesn’t match your skin, or you have way too much powder on. It’s taken me a while to find products that work for me, and now I’m really happy with my usual base routine.

If my skin is dry, I’ll apply moisturiser, and then usually brush my teeth or something while it absorbs. The next step is applying primer, at the moment I’m using NYX anti-redness primer – you can see how it compares to other primers here. After that comes concealer, and I want to take a moment to rave about how great MAC Pro-longwear concealer is. I only need to use a tiny amount, and it covers all my pimples really well. I’ve tried a fair few other concealers and most of them did a rubbish job compared to this. I put a bit on my finger and pat it on any blemishes, and then blend it in with my Ecotools Airbrush concealer brush.

The small amount of concealer that you need to apply

The small amount of concealer that you need to apply

After applying MAC pro longwear concealer

After applying concealer – pimples, what pimples?

Once my concealer is on, foundation is the next step. I am really in love with MAC Studio Sculpt foundation – it’s quite a thick formula but I don’t think that it makes me look cakey. I used to use Face and Body, but I like that this gives me more coverage and it lasts better during the day. I buff it in with my XO Beauty flat top foundation brush as I think it gives a better finish than a normal paintbrush type, or using my hands. I’m interesting in trying a Beauty Blender but they’re not cheap.

How I apply my foundationfoundationon

Lately I’ve been quite into a cream blush from Napoleon Perdis that I got free with a magazine last year – it gives a really nice colour to my cheeks. I apply it to the apples of my cheeks with my fingers. Once that’s on, I use my Ecotools kabuki brush and put on my Rimmel Stay Matte powder in transparent. It prevents me from looking greasy, but doesn’t look cakey or chalky at all – some matte powders can just look awful, especially if you have dry skin.

Ecotools concealer brush, XO Beauty foundation Brush, Ecotools kabuki brush

The tools

NYX primer, MAC pro longwear concealer, MAC studio sculpt foundation, Napoleon Perdis blush, Rimmel Powder

The necessary make up

Here’s what the finished product looked like, once I had also put my eye make up and trusty Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum on. I used my ELF brow kit, and the shadows are Urban Decay Buzz, Factory and Dust from the Naked 3 palette, finished off with Smashbox mascara. All ready to go shopping with a friend, and then to a comedy show with my BF in the evening!

.Face routine

I’m always interested to know more about what products other people use – have any of you tried the Beauty Blender? Do you think it’s worth investing in? Do you have any burning questions for me?

Lena x

My haircare routine

Saturday, May 3rd 2014 Hair care

My haircare routine

Before I started this blog, I did a guest post on my friends’ blog about my haircare routine – go have a read. The rest of their blog is great too.

Lena x

May no-buy

Friday, May 2nd 2014 Uncategorised

Yesterday Cassandra of CassandraMyee said on twitter that she was going to not buy makeup for the month of May and I’ve decided to join her. My make up drawers are already overflowing, and in April I got a lot of great new make up, so it’s time to use it and stop buying even more. I think I can do this, I just need to stay out of the shops and off my favourite online shopping sites!

Do you want to do this with me and Cassandra? Let me know in the comments or on twitter.

Lena x

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