THE RETURN OF THE DRESS

7/17/2015

The return of the dress || Melanophilia.com The return of the dress || Melanophilia.com The return of the dress || Melanophilia.com
shirt dress: & Other Stories || patent oxfords: Sacha || sunnies Ray-Ban 
watch: Larsson & Jennings || bag: Zara || silver rings: Fashionology

Dresses and I... We've been out of love for the last couple of years. I used to be really into them back in the day, when I was still a lover of anything cute and vintage. But as times changed, we grew apart. I found I was no longer into very girly/feminine looks, so I just couldn't commit any longer.
But then, after all those years, & Other Stories came along and rekindled the love. These were dresses unlike any other I used to own. Chic in their simplicity, no frills or flowers to be found. So I caved and took home two. No, we're not exclusive, but I love them both equally, and as things are looking now, we'll be in a happy relationship for years to come.

(Also: pardon the wrinkles. I left the house looking pretty crisp, but by the time we reached our shooting location, the sitting had taken its toll. A perk of of blogging what you actually wear, right?)

A CHALLENGE FOR MY 22 YEAR OLD SELF

6/19/2015

A challenge for my 22 year old self || Melanophilia.com
21 was the year I drove a buggy. It was awesome.

As of the beginning of this month, I am no longer 21, which got me thinking. A whole year went by and I did... nothing at all, except maybe discovering my first tiny wrinkle (Already! How the hell is this allowed to happen!). No wait, I did drive a buggy. But apart from that, I did absolutely nothing of significance to myself. Being in my twenties, I'm supposed to be at my absolute best, yet I wasted a year on being bored on the internet and just thinking about all the great stuff I could be doing. And you know what? This year won't be like that. I'm gonna get shit done. 
Passionate procrastinator that I am, bucket lists aren't really for me. So instead, I made a list of 5 goals that I want to achieve by the time I turn 23 and that mean more to me than mere occupational therapy.

22 will be the year I will...

... get better at longboarding.
I have a longboard and I love riding it. Unfortunately though, I suck. This year, I want to get better. I have a boyfriend who rides with the grace of a thousand unicorns and who's willing to teach me. So hopefully, by the time I'm 23, I won't be slowing him down so much anymore.

... broaden my horizon.
I would like to consider myself a fairly intelligent person, yet there are so many people who can make me feel stupid. I'm more of a sciencey person, and I still have a lot to learn about history, philosophy, equal rights, or even fashion for that matter. I want to keep learning outside of uni too.

... get fit.
It's not that I'm unhappy with the way I look, I just haven't been fit a day in my life. This year, I want to see if it's for me. As a physiotherapy student, I know the ins and outs of training, so now it's time to finally muster up some stamina and give it a try.

... learn some Spanish.
I love learning new languages. The world's most spoken language is not in my repertoire yet, so it seems like a good place to start. Time to put that Duolingo account to use.

... go parasailing.
Touristy? Maybe, but it looks hella awesome. I've wanted to do this for years and when I'm in Spain this summer, I'm going for it. Nothing wrong with some good old fashioned fun!

Why am I sharing this slightly cheesy post with you, you may ask? Well, I've heard that sharing your goals increases you chances of actually reaching them, so why the hell not. Feel free to tell me about yours if you want, some inspiration for next year's edition is always nice :)

FAIR SKIN AND FAKE TAN 101

6/15/2015

Fair skin and fake tan 101 || Melanophilia.com

For years I have embraced my pastiness. Winter and summer, fully dressed and bikini-clad. I think porcelain complexions look classic, mysterious and delicate on others, so I never felt the necessity to hide or change mine (and I still don't). Of course there were remarks, ranging from presumably well-meant advice ("You'd look healthier with a tan") to full-blown stupidity ("You'll never get tan if you wear SPF"). I just shrugged it off and said something along the lines of not wanting to look like a crumpled newspaper in 20 years. The truth is, I never get tanned, I just get burnt. I think it's so important to be sensible about sunbathing, and for my skin, that means no lounging around in the direct sun for more than an hour, even with protection. And the pale skin? I honestly don't dislike it at all.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, there is of course something to say for more bronzy skintones as well. I love a relaxed, beachy look as much as the next person, and for the last few months, I started wondering how a slightly sunkissed version of me would look. I watched dozens of Youtube video's on self tanning, until I felt educated enough to give it a go. So I strayed to the dark(er) side. For research purposes, of course.
After exactly two attempts, I had a routine figured out that works for me, could be done in 5 to 10 minutes depending on your level of skill, and is pretty foolproof. And what d'you know, I actually liked the result! I won't be ditching my natural skintone anytime soon, but it's fun to be able to switch it up if I feel like it. So pale ladies, if you ever feel like trying on a tan, fret not! This beauty noob's going to talk you through her entire tanning routine.

Fair skin and fake tan 101 || Melanophilia.com

Round 1: prep
You've probably read this on a gazillion beauty blogs but I'm going to mention it anyway: take a shower and exfoliate first! I use the Exfoliating Facial Cleanser by Yes to Carrots for my face, and a scrub from The Body Shop for the rest. (Currently using the olive scrub, but they're all lovely.) DO NOT forget your face, you won't be able to do this after you've already applied self tanner to your body, as I'll explain further on. And while we're at it, now is also a good time to shave your legs, if that's something you do.
After you get out of the shower, apply a bit of moisturizer to your knees, ankles, elbows, knuckles and palms.
Now you're ready for serious business.

Fair skin and fake tan 101 || Melanophilia.com

Round 2: body
Rule number one: use the mitt. Rule number two: if you don't have a mitt, get one. Trust me on this one.
I use the L'Oréal Sublime Bronze mousse on my legs and the gel on my upper body, but you could probably do the job with either one. They both have a guide colour, so you can make sure everything's really evened out before you let the real tan develop. 
I usually stick to the same order: shins and calves, blend out to feet and knees, thighs, stomach, lower back, arms and shoulders, blend out to chest and neck, upper back. And yes, I do the upper back by myself. If I put the mitt on backwards and channel my inner contortionist for a second, I can actually do a pretty decent job applying with the back of my hand. Finish off by very lightly applying whatever is left on the mitt to your hands, and don't forget the spaces in between your fingers.
Important: make sure you cover every little bit of your skin! Going over the same spot twice won't leave you with streaks, but forgetting a patch of skin will. When in doubt, apply a bit more.
Oh, and be careful: both the guide colour and the tanner wash off with the tiniest drop of water. That's why you don't want to scrub your face at this point. (I did it once and water streamed down my arms and washed it all off. It was unfixable.) Let it develop in peace. Also, you'll want to be careful around light fabrics, because the guide colour can stain those.

Fair skin and fake tan 101 || Melanophilia.com

Round 3: face
For my face I use the Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster. These are drops that you mix in with your regular moisturizer for a custom made gradual tan. It's genius. This works great with a liquid or gel-like product, but I think it wouldn't blend as easily with a more solid cream, so I suggest you avoid those. I always use it with either The Body Shop's Vitamin E moisturizer or Caudalie's Polyphenol C15 serum. Blend out towards the neck, ears and hairline and make sure no excess builds up in your eyebrows.

For both the face and the body it takes me a few days to build up the colour intensity I want. Don't be afraid to reapply if it's not dark enough, these products are in fact pretty subtle.

Fair skin and fake tan 101 || Melanophilia.com

Round 4: remove & repeat
After four or five days, I'll notice the colour rubbing off when drying off after a shower. This is when your tan is going to start looking... not so nice. Next time you shower, it's time to take it all off. For the face, your regular gentle scrub will do. For the body, I found a regular scrub is not strong enough. Use a scrubbing glove/mitt instead, so you can really target those spots where the tan is sticking. You'll want to start with a clean slate if you're going to reapply.

Phew, that was it. If you've made it this far, I applaud you, reader! I tried to incorporate as many tips as possible, but if you still have a question, by all means, feel free to comment. Or tell me your self tanning successes/fails, I'd love to hear those too!

TASSELS & ESPADRILLES

6/12/2015

Tassels & espadrilles || Melanophilia.com
Tassels & espadrilles || Melanophilia.com
Tassels & espadrilles || Melanophilia.com
blouse: Zara || shorts: H&M (old) || sunnies: Asos || leather espadrilles: Zara

Ahhhh 30 degree weather, it makes me long for folkloric tops and espadrilles. Luckily, Zara has answered my prayers. Result: this laid-back summery look. Already starting to feel the holiday vibes here! (Which also kinda sucks, because I still have 2 more weeks of studying to do. Crap.)
Something that's also new is the hair. I decided to part with my straight lob for now, and went for a soft, layered version with lighter ends instead. It looks lovely with some textured waves in there, but with these temperatures, I honestly couldn't be bothered to curl it. So for now, scruffy half bun it is.
Now i'ts back to the books for me, huge philosophy exam coming up. (Because you know, that's apparently a super relevant subject for an aspiring physiotherapist...) Speak soon!

FIVE FAVOURITES

6/05/2015

Five favourites || Melanophilia.com

I'm someone who gets very excited about anything and everything and we all know sharing is caring.
So, my fellow book worms, series junkies, blog readers, fashion lovers, students, smartphone users and procrastinators, these are five random recommendations, from me to you.

One to read 
So far, I've read twelve books this year. I liked most of them, but my absolute favourite has to be Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes. It's about the quirky Louisa, a young woman with no qualifications in desperate need of a job. When she ends up working as a caretaker for the severely depressed quadriplegic Will, both of their lives take a completely new turn.
What can I say, this book more than deserves its hype. Don't be put off by the cover, this is not just another sappy chicklit. The story is captivating, heart-wrenching, unpredictable and absolutely unforgettable. The movie is being filmed as we speak, so if you're a book person, I strongly suggest you jump on this bandwagon early! 

One to watch 
Orphan Black is one of the most underrated series of the moment, in my opinion. 
When broke drug dealer (and absolute badass) Sarah runs into her exact doppelgänger seconds before the latter commits suicide, she has no idea what to think. On the spur of the moment she decides to take over the woman's life, hoping to find a nicely filled savings account. But pretending to be someone you don't even know is not that easy. And when more doppelgängers keep turning up, Sarah has to face the shocking truth about the bond they share.
It took me exactly one episode to fall in love with the sheer genius that is Tatiana Maslany. We're now three seasons in and I still have to remind myself that it is in fact one actress playing all these very different women. If you're in for a thrilling science fiction drama with interesting characters and some humour, I'd say look no further. But be warned: binge watching this is inevitable. 




One to think about
As much as I obviously love fashion blogs, I like them even more when they go a bit deeper than outfit shots and wishlists. Anushka from Into Mind did a brilliant post on the concept of dressing for your body type, that really made me think.
I feel like fashion's at a turning point right now. More and more fashion magazines are speaking out about body acceptance, and I think you'll all agree with me when I say that's a great thing. Yet these same magazines keep publishing articles about how to dress for your body type, which almost always comes down to making yourself look more like the beauty standard. Isn't this a huge contradiction? 
"Wear clothes that flatter you" must be one of the oldest and most universally accepted style rules, but at the end of the day, wouldn't you rather dress for yourself than for complete strangers?
Read Anushka's thoughts here!

One for your smartphone
It's that time again: deadlines and finals are upon us. Unfortunately, I have the attention span of the average goldfish, so any little noise is enough to lure me away from my books. If you also suffer from loud housemates, yappy dogs or lawnmowing neighbours, try Coffitivity! This app provides the perfect amount of white noise, in the form of the ambient background sounds heard at a coffee shop. Headphones on, world off. Try it out here or download it for free here (iOS) or here (Android).

One to listen to 
I'm leaving you guys with the one song I've had on repeat for the last couple of weeks. Describing music is not one of my strongest skills, but I'd say summery and slightly melancholic are keywords here. I won't embarrass myself by trying to go into further detail, so I'm just going to drop this fancy Soundcloud thingy here and hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.




What have you guys been reading/watching/listening to lately? Any recommendations you'd like to share?