Cecilia Marie

one aspiring quaintrelle's voyage

Advanced Skincare

When I began my diploma at beauty school, I had vague intentions of working primarily with makeup and nails. I wasn’t looking forward to the body semester at all, really.

As it turns out, while manipedi term was fun, facials were my favourite beauty specialist unit, and I really enjoyed the therapies we covered in body semester.

I’m not sure when it happened, but now I’m studying to be a dermal therapist. goal.gif

I don’t want to wax your hoo-haa, but I’ll take a laser to it any day! Peel a layer of your face off, you say? Sure thing. I’m in my element in this field. The graduate diploma is tough, but fantastic.

Since beginning my dermal therapies grad-dip I’ve slowly converted to active cosmeceuticals. So far I’ve only tried one brand (thanks very much to my own skin needling/MDA dermal therapist for the persuasive introduction pupegiggle ) but with a little research I’ve got a lot I want to try!

I thought, hey… lor.gif

why not write about some of the things I’ve learned about cosmeceuticals and their effect on skin ?.gif

It’ll help me study, ingrain the topics in my head, make me the best dermal therapist I can be gold.gif

Two brands I’m interested in in particular are Pixi Beauty (not in small part because of the ol’ Lady Lovely Locks fan in me stars.gif ) and Paula’s Choice.

There’s a BHA product I’m interested in from Paula’s Choice (tossing up between the 1% and 2% still, however), and the chemical exfoliating toner from Pixi has rave reviews so it’s piqued my curiosity.

My skin is in quite a state from neglect over my lifetime and moderate-severe acne from my teens. I’m fortunate enough to have beaten acne, only struggling maybe a handful of zits every year – now it’s just the scarring punch.gif I have pitted scarring, like dents on my skin. I can’t hope to completely treat them, but I think they can be improved. During facials term in beauty school my teacher noted seborrhoea around my nostrils. This condition alone has plagued me for so long and I just couldn’t wrap my head around what was happening, so whenever I’d wear makeup it would flake and look terrible. pupelines

My passion for this area began here, with my own concerns.
It’s a little embarrassing how much I light up when I start talking about what I’ve learned, I hardly notice how much I’m talking until I notice the metaphorical snore-bubble from my polite listener’s face.

Hopefully in blog form I can structure my posts a little better than word vomit pupegiggle

Smart Jewellery

A few days ago I received my long-awaited preorder – the LEAF by Bellabeat, a health tracker for women.

It tracks sleep quality, steps taken, stress levels (via breathing, with exercises you can take). It vibrates when it’s time to take my pill or when I’ve been inactive too long (as per specified activity level).

You can wear it as a clip, bracelet or necklace. So far the clip and necklace haven’t been too great at counting my steps; I’ve definitely taken steps today since I got up, and I definitely took steps yesterday at work between 12:30 and 2pm, but no data was recorded wearing it as a clip.

It also tracks your cycle, so fertile periods and ovulation days, if you’re into that.

The first panel in the picture above – clipped onto the blouse – is my favourite look with the LEAF so far, like a brooch


iMac with gorgeous Taylor Swift wallpaper
Image from Instagram

I’d say I’m not an Apple fangirl, but I wouldn’t seem credible after this entry, so I’ll throw the first stone and openly profess that I am (apparently) an Apple fangirl.

@heart It was in 2010 that I replaced my miserable HTC Wildfire (a dreadful example of an Android device, but not my only exposure to the system) with an iPhone 4. I’m not sure how long after this the home button became uncooperative, but I lasted almost 2 years with my iPhone before buying out my contract and switching to my Samsung Galaxy S3 (which, for the record, I hate, but I can’t go back to iPhone because the screen is silly small to me now!). I still keep my iPhone to use like an iTouch, but prefer not to because of that frustrating home button. It’s just, I paid for those apps fair and square, I refuse to relinquish them!

@heart Before betraying the Apple obsession by ditching my iPhone, however, as the beginning of the university year loomed, after much deliberation and a few spec comparisons, I decided to get a Macbook Air in 2012. It wasn’t in my initial price range, but it was the most appealing in the spec range I ended up looking at, and the cheapest from the options I narrowed down (go figure!). I named her Fairy.

@heart My next Apple adventure came last month when I decided I want an iPad against my better judgement. I didn’t know why I wanted it, I just did, but at the same time when I saw iPads I wasn’t sure what was going on in my head. I already have my lightweight Fairy for on-the-go Apple fangirling, and I already have an app-capable smartphone. I compared it to the nexus 7 my dear friend swears by, but was put off by the distaste I have for my Android phone.

And then I played with the iPad mini, and it seemed perfect. It wasn’t too big, and instead of having two Android devices I could use my Apple apps on it instead of replacing my iPhone with an iTouch (I mentioned being adamant about surrendering my apps, right?), it’s all my wants rolled into one! So I bought it and, creatively, I named it Minnie. Minnie hasn’t disappointed me at all, I won’t be without it now. This is when I became most acutely aware I was being sucked soul-first into the Apple culture, never to return — perhaps out of laziness, perhaps brainwashing. I’m not sure, but I don’t mind either way. I enjoy it.

@heart It was no surprise after being sucked in that I’d realise a desire I’ve had for a good 3 years before today: get an iMac. Thus, Penelope was bought. I’ve yet to fully replace my PC; I’m using the PC and Penelope side-by-side while I set everything up to sell my soul switch completely.

I’m exploring apps, programs and features on Penelope, and thinking of doing a post on the things that helped me switch and what I like or prefer etc. (I wish I had more to update about but I’ve been drawing blanks!)

Bring on the taunts and hipster accusations! This is working for me, and I’m the only one who answers to my gadget choices, so I’m happy.

Life = Risk

I re-discovered this motivational video today, and I never want to lose it again!

I can’t help but want to share it.

@heart Dismissed from drama school with a note that read ‘wasting her time, she’s too shy to put her best foot forward.’
Lucille Ball, Actress, Comedienne, Model

@heart Turned down by the Decca recording company who said ‘we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.’
The Beatles, International Music Phenomenon

@heart A failed soldier, farmer and real estate agent, at 38 years old he went to work for his father as a handyman.
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States

@heart Cut from the high school basketball team, he went home locked himself in his room and cried.
Michael Jordon, Pro Basketball Player

@heart A teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything, that he should go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality.
Thomas Edison, Inventor, Scientist

@heart Fired from a newspaper because he ‘lacked imagination’ and ‘had no original ideas’.
Walt Disney, Film Producer

@heart His fiancée died, he failed in business twice, he had a nervous breakdown, and he was defeated in eight elections.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.

life= risk

Picks: 12 Cute iPad Cases from Etsy

My favourite part of gadget shopping: decorations! I have a hard time picking cases for my gadgets; I haven’t even begun saving for the iPad mini I want, but I’m getting a head start on styles I’m interested in and thought I’d share my findings from Etsy (I haven’t even tried eBay yet, eep!).

I began with over 50 tabs open to sift through and have narrowed it down to these 12 as my very favourites overall.

Left: This case is made of leather and doubles as a stand. I love anything with the Chanel logo because my initials are CC, hehe :3 Aside from that, Chanel represents class to me @heart Cost: $28.90
Right: I did try to make this list on a budget (under $50), I promise, but this one was one of my absolute favourites so I couldn’t leave it out. The Victorian design of this faux-leather case, and the tight-fitting fixture are both amazing. I have a similar fixture on my Kindle case, that gadget isn’t going anywhere! @heart Cost: $80

Left: I love monograms and initials! There’s something elegant in the simplicity of a clear case, and what more elegant to complement than (real!) Swarovski crystals? I love the mystery of a single letter. What does it stand for? The mystery piques enough interest that I adore it. Of course, I’d have to write them to change the initial to a C! @heart Cost: $33.95
Right: This design features a vintage wreath and a strong, bold, confident font for the initial. Where the cursive of the previous design made it alluringly mysterious, I feel a font like this screams to already be known. It’s sure of itself and proud, I like that. @heart Cost: $47

Left There’s something about the simplicity in a clear case that makes it too elegant to pass by for me. Swarovski elements adorn this case. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to be butterflies, I think they are. I think that’s what makes me like this one so much, simplicity itself doesn’t beg any certain ambience, but butterflies throw in a serene stillness that’s calming. That and butterflies are just pretty! @heart Cost: $39.95
Right: I wouldn’t normally get a case so bulky (ha! anyone who knows me will surely call me delusional for that; my cases are anything but lightweight…) but I really do adore this design. I think I’m seeing a pattern here with clear cases, heh… The rhinestones aren’t too busy, though, and they complement the flowers rather than making it a busy design. Simplicity is elegant, flowers add some fun! I’m not sure if I’d use it, but I would definitely coo if I saw it @heart Cost: $34.99

Pearls and rhinestones! Something my cases tend to feature very often… as well as bows, but anyway! I don’t know how big iPad minis are, I wouldn’t put something like this on a regular sized iPad personally (it’s not busy, but it’s a bit much somehow), but the mini might just be small enough to pull it off! @heart Cost: $39

More pearls and rhinestones, and a pink Apple logo. I don’t want to seem like an Apple drone or anything (my phone is Android, guys!), but something about how this logo complements this design makes me ridiculously happy inside. Maybe because it’s pink? It breaks up the “busyness” of sprawled out pearls and rhinestones, which remedies the complaint I had about the previous design, doesn’t it? This design is very close to the top of my consideration list! @heart Cost: $43

Left: This case is plastic with a square lace patch. I’ve seen princessy lace monster phone cases before and I have to say I prefer the “less is more” approach. I’m not particularly mori-girl, but woodland creature prints always have a place in my heart as well; deer print is popular in Lolita right now, and I’m not complaining, I think it’s adorable! I also like keys, which is a nice (if random) touch to this design, too @heart Cost: $19.99
Right: Another plastic case with lace features, this time a simple line. I have a floral bias. And a cursive bias. And I like lace… I’m not even sure what I like most about this one, it just comes together so well, complementary colours and all. It’s innocent without being childish @heart Cost: $19.99

Left: This sleeve is my favourite shade of baby pink, it has lace and a bow, do I really need to elaborate any further? Yes, because there’s still more to it! Namely, the two pouches on the front. When I go out it tends to be via public transport, and I like to have my SmartRider on me close when I travel. I put it in my pocket, phone sleeve (in times of old), pouches on my bag… everywhere except my purse, it seems… Having a pouch on the front of the gadget I’m holding is definitely a huge plus! @heart Cost: $35.90
Right I don’t know how old fashioned prints like this are, but it shouts vintage to me. It’s padded with fleece for extra safety and has a wooden button with lovely writing on it too, how nice is that? It sounds comfortable enough to wear, haha. I love how the vintage floral is separated by lace trimming to a plainer fabric, hiding a pouch underneath no less, simply perfect! I love the classy and elegant air that old-fashioned prints and lace combine to give, I think this one is right up the top of my consideration list too @heart Cost: $24.25

There were more, but after elaborating on these I know which ones are my very favourites! (Now, to save for the gadget…) So! Which one do you like best? :)


I’ve been trying for a couple of months now to get back into blogging here. Tonight I decided to revamp my layout entirely to kick me into gear!

And so, inspired by the simplicity of galadarling.com, voila.

In a couple of weeks my old domain will be expiring, so today has been spent finding all of the places I’ve used the e-mail so I can change it. This has been quite a feat, really… I sign up at way too many places! The last thing I want is to rediscover something fabulous and not be able to remember my password or have it sent to me. Oh, but I disgress…

Blog, yes! Now, what shall I write about, ah.. I’ll figure it out :)

Review: Inkheart

Inkheart is a book about books. It’s about a bookbinder, Mo, and his daughter, Meggie. Where is her mother? She doesn’t know, but Mo does. They live in a house with stacks of books all over, it’s absolutely overrun. The mess doesn’t bother Meggie, though; they’re Meggie’s only comfort besides her dear father, Mo. She wishes he’d read aloud to her, but for some reason he won’t – and the reason why is where the story truly begins.

The characters are, of course, Mo and Meggie, and then we have Dustfinger (the fire-eater) and Gwin (his horned marten), Elinor (Meggie’s maternal aunt), Capricorn (the antagonist), his henchmen Basta and Flatnose, and then we have Fenoglio, the author of Inkheart’s very own Inkheart. There are others, of course, but you’ll see if you read it, no spoilers!

* * *

I struggled a great deal to finish this book (though I did finish it in June – after 7 months, haha!), and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not used to reading much anymore or because the plot didn’t move quickly enough. I found myself skimming through long-winded descriptions to get to actual plot-progression, for I really could not care less about how much Meggie loves books or the intricate details of reclothing a book by the second half of the novel. As a lot of other reviews [on Goodreads] mentioned, I don’t care much for book reverence. Elinor was simply over the top obsessed with her books – which she did not touch.

I pictured Mo as a very old soul, not at all has he’s portrayed in the film. I suppose I shouldn’t expect much of a film adaptation, right? Read before you watch (if you watch at all)!

The novel’s pace picked up for me at the end, but it was still a struggle to care. I don’t see myself re-reading. Still, it wasn’t a bad read, per se, though I’m not planning on finishing the trilogy. I’m a bit sad I didn’t engage more with the characters, but I think if I were a bookworm I might have a little more. I did love the nature of the ending. Without spoiling too much (just a little), I would love to live in such a fairytale estate! It’s no wonder Meggie and Mo stayed with Elinor rather than returning to their house. I wonder if they picked up all of their books though, or if they just replaced them all. They did have a lot of books.

I thought the power Capricorn had throughout the story ridiculous, especially where the police were involved. Every character was much too invested in family, something else I couldn’t relate to very well (though I do relate to love, so I got through it).

I’m curious about the nature of the translation and how it changed the book! But I’m not about to pick up German just yet if at all, so I may never know…

Things I Love (w47)

Image from zavarykin via Flickr

@heart Switching out perfumes. Fresh, summery scents! Mm~
@heart Happy tears and wide, smiley, sore cheeks
@heart The calm after the storm in my mind
@heart Brown hair, admired from afar on others or wigs (not dye!)
@heart Piano instrumentals, particularly Yiruma
@heart Playing with cats and fluffy bell toys heart.gif
@heart Seeing a product pay off – cracked heel cream, I love you!
@heart Waking up fresh and awake
@heart Language learning
@heart Looking to the future, and all its possibilities; the next 3 years


I spent today in self-preservation mode, recovering from negative moods and mindsets that have plagued me this week. I was lucky to have checked my YouTube subscriptions and rediscover bubzbeauty.

Lindy recently got engaged to her high school sweetheart, which wasn’t news to me, but I hadn’t seen the (pre!)wedding videos or pictures, so when I checked the bubz tag on Tumblr I was overwhelmed with joy for this wonderful girl, and the gorgeous memories she has to show everyone in her life from here on in, to be able to celebrate this special happiness.

But anyway, I fell in love with Lindy’s videos initially because of her accent. Yes, I’m a sucker for cute voices! And Lindy, well… she has everyone beat with her adorable combination.

One video in particular I watched today touched me very deeply – Secrets of Truly Happy People. It’s inspired me to compile a collection of quotes, videos, concepts, pictures, anything at all that reminds me of this concept that is so obvious to me, but that I lose sight of so easily.

I used to have a “look book” full of things that inspired me, but I haven’t updated it in a long time. I’m not sure what format I want this collective to be yet. Digital is easier, but physical is dearer. Hopefully I take this collective with me forever.

In honour of the one who inspired me to rekindle this old love, here are some videos that I love from bubzbeauty: