Week 13: Grace Kelly. 5 Summer Beauty Weapons

Summer is in full reign and it’s about time I share some of  Grace Kelly's and my own beauty secrets as well as some hot-weather essentials.

1. Must Have Box

Firstly, I would like to start with subscription boxes. I have been curious about beauty and fashion surprise boxes since I was living in London. One of my best friends, Ania Pawlak, who now has her own blog, Beauty Obsessed, had been getting some of the boxes when we were living together and it was always fun opening them with her.

Special Edition Resort Box by  Popsugar . 

Special Edition Resort Box by Popsugar

Subscription boxes are so popular because they give you a sense of excitement every time you open a freshly delivered package filled with surprise goodies. There is always some great product by some brand you have never heard of, cute things you would never try otherwise, or something that you didn't even know you needed.

One of the most beloved subscription boxes in the US is Popsugar Must Have. They  not only have makeup and beauty products, but lifestyle and decor items as well. I was thrilled when Popsugar selected me to be one of the bloggers to review their June box. To be honest, I completely forgot about it until this morning when I woke up to a package. It felt like Christmas!

The June Box has 7 items, including a card game, a very sparkly nail polish, deodorant wipes (I didn’t know such a thing even existed!), a sarong, and a very cute bottle opener. Here are the pictures of the surprise items that arrived in my Popsugar Must Have Box.

Why we love Subscription Boxes
Popsugar subscription Box June
Games Room, Who am I game
Cute bottle opener gift

Check their website to see "inside" previous boxes. Each one is so different and has a great curated collection of items. It is great that you can get a box of fabulous goodies for a fixed monthly price and get items triple the value or even more. So you don't have to worry if there is something you don't actually need.

Let me know if you have ever used a subscription box service. I would love to hear about your experience.

2. Hand cream

Grace Kelly was obsessed with keeping her hands moisturised and always had a little hand cream in her purse. She revealed that it was one of her most important beauty secrets and that "a woman's age shows on her hand much quicker than anywhere else."

Following her advice, I do actually keep a tiny pack of hand cream in my purse and a big one on my bedside table. My favourite small one is Magic Food Banana Hand Milk by Korean brand Tony Moly. It not only has the cutest packaging but smells absolutely delicious and is quite cheap. I get my Korean beauty supplies in a Tony Moly shop in NYC, 35 W 32nd St, Korea Town.

3. Self-tanning

Princess Grace of Monaco is famous for her beautiful fair skin, but not a lot of people know she loved spending time on the beach and swam a lot to keep her figure slim. Grace knew the importance of keeping her skin hydrated and protected from the sun with lotions with higher SPF.

Grace Kelly on a beach and pool

I naturally have very pale skin as well, but I don't think it suits me. I just simply prefer to be tanned. It was easy to get a beautiful bronze glow when I was living in Miami, but now in New York I have to use self-tanners.

Here are my favourite self-tanners I currently use:

4. Fabulous Floaties

Cute fun floaties! Swans, donuts and pizza floaties in pool

Ok, not really a beauty secret, but a fun, bright float is a serious summer 2016 essential if you have a pool or a beach nearby. It adds fun to your tanning process and also looks great in pictures.

5. Lipstick

I am wearing Anastasia Beverly Hills in Dusty Rose.

I am wearing Anastasia Beverly Hills in Dusty Rose.


Grace Kelly didn't wear much makeup, especially on hot summer days, but she almost never forgot to put on lipstick. She preferred bright red and dark rosy hues.

I, on the other hand, have never been a huge lipstick fan, but during one of my visits to Sephora, I tried Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid matte lipstick and fell in love. So many beautiful colours to choose from and, most importantly, it stays on for hours without feeling gross on my lips like most lipsticks tend to.


So there are my 5 summer 2016 beauty weapons inspired by my latest purchases and Grace Kelly's own beauty secrets. Do you enjoy reading beauty posts? Let me know in the comments!

Week 11: Instagram Babe. Secrets of a Perfect Selfie

I have been busy in Park City with my hubby the last few days, so I was't able to publish the last post of the Instagram Babe Week on time. However, I always try to keep my promises and below I am sharing a few tips on how to take the perfect selfie. And get ready for the new Theme of the Week that will appear shortly!

Ulia Ali

7 Secrets of a Perfect Selfie

It might come as a surprise to many of you, but I am not a huge fan of social media. I do not try too hard to gain more followers, I don't buy thousands of fake likes just to prove something, nor do I share as regularly as some social media maniacs do. On the other hand, I am genuinely trying to increase the engagement level and the quality of my content, even though most of the times I laugh at myself and my generation for caring so much. But we all care at least a little bit, and we do want to take good selfies!

I have gathered all the information I could, from my own experience and from the experiences of a few of my most-followed friends and came up with this little guide to perfect selfie-taking.

1. Lighting is everything.

Good light is one of the most basic key elements of every successful photograph. My best selfies are taken indoors using natural sunlight coming from the window. Always face the light for crisper, sharper and more vivid photos. Outdoors self-portraits can be beautiful as well, however try to take them in the shade and preferably before noon when the sun is not too bright. 

Avoid taking photos at night because even if you turn on every single light in your house, your face will probably look too yellow and flat.

Poor Indoor Light. My skin looks too yellow and flat.

Poor Indoor Light. My skin looks too yellow and flat.

Natural light coming from a window falls beautifully on my face.

Natural light coming from a window falls beautifully on my face.

2. Insta-makeup.

Girls with the most liked selfies often have very heavily done up make-up which looks amazing on Instagram, but quite ridiculous and cake-y in real life. If you want to do full blown Insta-makeup, watch this tutorial:

Double layer of  Dior Mascara  to make my eyes prettier.

Double layer of Dior Mascara to make my eyes prettier.

If you are like me, a little bit more sensible and not willing to spend an hour drawing another face on top of your own, follow my easy little tricks. I've noticed that the most important part of my selfies is my eyes. I almost never wear faux eyelashes, but when I do, my selfies look prettier.

No one has time for applying faux lashes, so usually I just use a double coat of my favourite Diorshow Iconic Mascara.


My TOP 3 Mascaras:


Another area I also focus on is my under eyes. Try to conceal any darkness under your eyes and make the area as light (but natural looking!) as possible.

Here are my TOP under-eye concealers:  


If you do not have time to perfect your make up, download the Perfect365 app. Almost every single girl I know uses apps to enhance her beauty, but the ones who nail it, use it just a tiny bit. Make-up apps can make you look like a clown, however if you use it moderately, you will get great results! I use Perfect365 when I find that my eyelashes don't look long enough. 

BEFORE Editing.

BEFORE Editing.

After. Have you noticed that my eyelashes are darker and longer? I also added the HB1 VSCO filter to adjust colours.

After. Have you noticed that my eyelashes are darker and longer? I also added the HB1 VSCO filter to adjust colours.

3. Clear the Background.

Make sure there is nothing in your background that will distract from your face. Try to have as few colours in the background as possible. Some bloggers recommend using the Whitening Tool on the FaceTune app for whitening/discolouring the background.

White walls are always handy!

White walls are always handy!

But a beautiful landscape or city view can look gorgeous in a selfie as well.

But a beautiful landscape or city view can look gorgeous in a selfie as well.

If you want to show your background then make sure it's interesting and that you fit well into the photograph.

4. Know Your Angles.

"Legend" has it that Ariana Grande demands photographers and filmmakers only shoot her left side. We get it, Ariana has a favourite side. You might not have to go that far, but you can certainly experiment to try to find your most flattering angle and facial expressions. 

P.S. I just noticed that I usually find my left side more photogenic as well!

5. Organise your Instafeed

I used to post without thinking of the overall colour palette of my Instagram gallery. But lately I've been trying to make my Instagram page look more consistent and organised. VSCO is my favourite app for organising my Instagram Feed. You can upload the photos you post on Instagram to VSCO in the same order and then use the app to see if the next picture will fit into your gallery and play with its colours. 

My Instagram Feed a year ago. Colours and croppings are inconsistent. 

My Instagram Feed a year ago. Colours and croppings are inconsistent. 

My Instagram Feed now. More sleek and organized.

My Instagram Feed now. More sleek and organized.

Did you find any of these tips useful? Do you have your own insta-secrets? Share on our FACEBOOK page or write in the comments below. 



Week 3: Cleopatra. Iconic Makeup

Cleopatra Make Up, Cleopatra cat eye Look

The last post of the extended Cleopatra Week is, of course, dedicated to her beauty look. You can dress up in the most luxurious Greek-style dress, wear heavy gold jewellery and even buy the black wig with bangs, but even then you won't pass as Cleopatra if you do not wear her iconic makeup!

Cleopatra's Makeup is as legendary as her story. Of course the most iconic feature in her look is the eye makeup with a gorgeous Egyptian cateye. You can go heavy and bold for the Halloween or a costume party look, or just add an extra dark winged eyeliner if you are going for something more subtle.

I am also a big cat-eye lover and always apply my black eyeliner whenever I want to look my best.  Just a little "Cleopatra detail" makes me feel 10x prettier.

I have selected the best YouTube tutorials on how to apply Cleopatra's Makeup for you. Share your Cleopatra Looks with me via email or tag me on Twitter or Instagram: @uliaali 


Bonus: Check my Pinterest Board for more Cleopatra inspiration: