Shopping Online: Part 1 – Payments

Today’s post is a how to shop online guide, especially for Greek readers as I do not know how the Banking system in other countries works.

People and friends often ask me how I shop online, how I pay etc. I will first present the available means of payment online  Excuse my lack of knowledge on exact financial terms! I do hope I can make myself clear.

a) Credit Card. All major banks offer credit cards and all you need to do is visit your local branch and apply for one. The maximum credit limit is usually determined by your age and employment and what usually varies from bank to bank is the rate of interest. The bank will most probably ask you to start a deposits account (which will be connected to your card)

Pros: You can pay for goods even though you may currently have no money. You can make the payment later in installments which are set according to your expenses. I have found that being punctual to your payments to the bank results in minimum extra charges due to interest and taxes.

Cons: If you overdo it and surpass the credit limit you will be charged extra taxes and you will find yourself paying far more money for what you bought. Same case if you skip on your payments. Also there is a chance you will get carried away and shop more your actual budget can afford.

b) Pre-paid card. Again, all major banks can provide you with a pre-paid card. Now this works differently. You apply for one and pay a startup fee of approximately 5 Euros. Each time you want to use it,you have to charge this card either with the exact amount of money you want to spend, or charge it with a starting capital and spend it wherever you want in time. Each time you charge it, the bank substracts a fee which is either fixed (e.g  for Cyprus Bank 1,5 euro) or is a percentage of the money you put in the card.

Pros: You shop on a fixed budget-no credits. No money, no honey. Personally if I want to buy something that costs 50 euros, I will charge my card with appr. 54 euros, so that would be 52,5 euros minus the fee and the 2,5 euros are my currency safety. I will talk about that later. Also your bank will provide you with an e-banking option so as to check your card status, pending payments etc.

Cons: You have to visit the bank each time you want to charge the card, that is tricky when you work (banks work from 8:00-14:00). Also if you charge it in the morning, your money is usually available around 17:00 (on working days)!

Tip: Choose a bank with a fixed fee and with ATM charging option ( you can charge your card 24/7 through any ATM of the bank that issues your card. Though the ATM options stalls the availability of your money (Charge it Monday night – available on Tuesday afternoon)

c) Debit Card. It is connected directly to an existing bank account and it uses your current deposits. It is the card the bank issues for deposits and withdrawals as soon as you create an account. I have found that many sites do not accept debit cards, you can use it with PayPal though.

Tip: Ask your bank is this card is capable of online transactions (sometimes debit cards meant to be used online are marked as electron).

d) PayPal. “PayPal is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. PayPal is an acquirer, performing payment processing for online vendors,auction sites (such as e-Bay) , and other commercial users, for which it charges a fee. It may also charge a fee for receiving money, proportional to the amount received. The fees depend on the currency used, the payment option used, the country of the sender, the country of the recipient, the amount sent and the recipient’s account type. In addition, eBay purchases made by credit card through PayPal may incur extra fees if the buyer and seller use different currencies.”

When sites/sellers  support Paypal transactions you will see these icons:

Paypal does charge you with a fee but provides you with insurance for your money (up to an amount, but that is certainly over a thousand dollars, check the site’s policy) . That means, if someone receives your money but you don’t get your order, you open a dispute in Paypal and it will refund you. You only have to sign up for an account and then you have to connect one or more card/bank accounts to your Paypal account. Paypal automatically converts currency at it’s own rate but I have found that the fees and conversion deviations are not a deterrent at all. You also provide the site with your billing and shipping address/es for easy, fast checkouts.

Pros: Insurance, easy checkout. It is also the standard method of payment in sites like e-Bay.

Cons: I guess the fees, but it is not that big of a deal compared to the safety it offers you.

e) Bank to bank/Wire transfer. After making an order, the seller might provide you with his/her bank account number and details (eg Full name and address) and you can send him/her money through your own bank. There are also services like Western Union Bank which makes easier payments to Asia compared to standard european banks.

Pros: It is for those that do not wish/are not able to have any sort of card.

Cons: It usually takes more than 2-3 working days for your money to get to the seller/site. That delays the transaction progress. There is no insurance either.

f) Cash on delivery. Only if you are buying from sellers/sites in Greece. Usually has an extra fee (around 2 euros). When the courier arrives with  your package, you pay him in cash.

Pros: Very easy and safe as the package is already in your hands.

Cons: I have only had this option when shopping in Greece.

These are the most common means of payment (at least where I live). I’d like to discuss a little bit on currency. When you shop within the EU, all prices are in euros so what you pay is what you get. Shopping in the US is different though. You have to calculate what the cost in US Dollars corresponds to. For example, as for taday, June 1st 2013, 1 Euro is equivalent to 1,30 USD, so the dollar is actually cheaper. The british pound on the other hand, when you are shopping in the UK, is more expensive. Today 1 British pound is equivalent to 1,17 euros. Currency rates change daily, so keep up with them the day-days when you are ready to make your order, especially if you are using a prepaid card and you want to pay for the exact cost.

Tip: I sometimes wait for the dollar to drop before I make an order in the US! That way I save some money.

I hope this guide was helpful, please let me know if you have any questions or corrections! Part 2 coming soon and it will be about my favorite online shops and deals you can find!

xoxo readers,

Diana

Huge Summer Haul!

Hello lovellies! Sorry for the absense, life was – and continues to be – crazy! I recently shopped big time though, nothing lifts my spirits like a good online haul! Be prepared to see my summer key buys, featuring style tips!

First of all – shoes! And what is more summer appropriate than a good pair of sandals. I bought these:

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I love the fact that they are a white – cream colour which literally matches everything. I also love the thick heel. Recently I have discovered that totally flat shoes hurt my feet like crazy. I experience calve and foot pains even if I wear them for a few hours. And although I love my ballerina flats and flip-flops I try to buy shoes with a low, comfy heel. The PU sole is soft and relieves my foot pains.

The ultimate statement heel:

Oh my huge shoe-craving over here. These Louboutin style heels are litteraly everywhere, and finding something similar for the 1/10 of the price really made me happy. So happy, I had to buy 2 of these. One in Neon-trafficstoppingthatshowilikethem- yellow and one in hot pink. Insert cute pink heart here.

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Style tip: Wear any statement pump with skinny ankle length jeans and a simple white top. If I were to wear the yellow ones I would compliment them with coral/green accessories!

Summer bags (yay!)

This time of year I find myself loving canvas totes and fun patterns! Here is what I bought:

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Yep I bought both colours. These come in handy for school as well, I do need the space. Excuse the watermarks, this is the picture that the seller enclosed in my order. I also bought this in orange as pictured and in light pink. Gotta have your basic bags ladies.

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Style tip: I like to wrap a complimenting scarf around monochrome bags. Gives them a girly feeling!

And now *drumroll* accessories! I have finally purchased some pieces from the Anna Dello Russo for H&M collaboration! Take a look and you will justify my excitement:

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These, ladies will make the outfit. LBD material for sure. I love the turquoise and orange combination and these pieces literally scream “me”!

How did you like my haul ladies? Anything you’d like to see styled? Part two coming soon as I have yet more to show you! Leave me a comment if you’re feeling like hauling yourself !

All of the above were purchased by me through wholesale sellers. Pictures used belong to the sellers as far as I am concerned and have been sent to me via email.

New hair!

Hello there dear readers, how’s everything? Thursday I went to the local salon to add a peachy tone to my hair using a semi permanent dye. I have to say I didn’t love the results as when I first washed it, hair turned more red than peach. And I hate red hair on me! Anyway here is a picture from the day I dyed it, I willbe posting more pics of the color progress. I love my natural hair color damn it, I shouldn’t have done this as I have to wait till it fades now. Anyway just my karma with hair salons dunno why.

This is taken under natural light and it looks nice and coral but two days and one wash later color is more of a carroy-brick red (if that makes any sense).

I will post more really soon, just stay tuned!!

My week in pictures vol.1

Hi everyone! This week (or should I say this month) has been pretty hectic so excuse the hiatus. However I’d like to share a few pictures with you, just to keep up. I was in no mood to dress up or put on any makeup whatsoever I did manage to keep my nails done though (who am I kidding I always seem to find some nail-time). I will be trying to come up with some outfit posts as well! Soon..

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Nubar light wash jeans (Chanel les jeans de Chanel dupe collection) and an armor ring from E-bay. I am in the mood for pastels lately.

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OPI – Skulls and Glossbones in artificial lighting.

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And during the day! (natural light). Looks more cream colored! I don’t know why my hands are so red.

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And I had to take a picture of a good hair day! Lipstick is Pink Pearl Pop for MAC, which I LOVE. So fun and yet so wearable.

So that’s it for now folks, hope you enjoy!

xoxo, Diana

Hair Care Routine

Well hello, what have you been up to dear readers? Since people often ask me IRL about my hair care, hair colour etc, this is a post explaining everything I have learned about hair care in the past years. I’d like to state that I am in no way a hair expert, in the contrary I usually fail miserably at styling and colouring my hair. That’s why I don’t colour it anymore.

First of all I have lots of hair but it is SO fine I rarely have some natural volume. It’s also extremely straight and that doesn’t help at all. It tends to be oily on the root area and my ends are usually dry and get VERY tangled. Dreamy huh? But let’s get to one thing at a time.

1. Colour

This is my natural hair colour and trust me, the only way to have perfectly healthy hair is to stop colouring it. As you can see it’s an ash blond colour with some golden highlights mostly on the outer tresses. I have tried many hair colours in the past, none of them “normal”. From orange to fuschia to plum, till I got bored and couldn’t take proper care of it. So 4 years ago I let it all grow out and stopped messing with it. However, I don’t want my hair to be VERY healthy (that’s weird I know) cause it gets VERY very oily. So what I do in the winter (cause in the summer exreme sun exposure makes my hair golden with platinum ends) is use John Frieda’s go blonder lightening spray mostly on the root area. I have to say, I doesn’t make a big difference, people hardly notice it, but it gives my hair the “Coloured hair texture” so it doesn’t get that oily anymore. Basically what I do is conciounsly damage my hair to the extent where I don’t have to wash it every effing day. John Frieda spray works well with heat so once or twice a month I use it on my roots and then blow dry them with lots of heat.

If you have natural blonde hair you would also be interested in Klorane products for blonde hair/highlight. I swear by them but I have no idea about how they work on coloured blonde hair.

2. Shampooing and conditioning

I wash my hair every other day and I mostly use Garnier Fructis or Aussie products. Lately I have started to look for silicone and paraben free products because they don’t make my hair feel “heavy” and oily. When I was growing them out I used to follow this schedule: Day 1: Wash with shampoo, Day 2: Oil treatment, Day 3: Co-wash (which is conditioner only wash), Day 4 : Co-wash and repeat. Below you can see pictures of my favorite products.

3. Care

I regurarly use oil treatments mostly on my dry ends such as Kerastase’s Elixir Ultime which smells heavenly and Elvive’s Extraordinary Oil which is a cheaper alternative. As a pre wash treatment, 1 or 2 hours before washing my hair I aply a generous amount of oil on my roots all the way down to the ends once a week.

When my hair feels dull but I don’t have the time to wash it I use Klorane’s Chamomille Mousse which smells beautifully and if you use it with heat gives you volume and livens up blonde highlights.

4. Styling

I use lots of hairspray to set and style my hair. I love KISS infusion system Keratine infused hairspray (which I buy at my local hair salon) and when I want a fun blow dry I use TIGI’s Superstar blow dry lotion.

Below are some of the products mentioned. I usually buy them at local beauty supply shops or Pharmacies (for Klorane e.g.).

If you have any questions or requests please feel free to leave me a comment ! Till next time,

xoxo Diana

Hair Products I <3
 

MUA – Gemini

Hello readers!

Finally I got to try the “caviar aka fish eggs” nail trend. It has come to my attention that Ciate has kinda trademarked the term so – fish eggs it is! MUA calls this line “Nail connstellations” and the different colors have zodiac names. Today we have Gemini a lovely light pink with accents of purple, pearl and light blue. Application is easy – you just drip the beads on the wet polish. The container has a special lid which gives you the right amount of beads with some gentle taps. Here are the results!

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MUA gemini (3)

In these picures I have two coats of polish – the beads and topcoat. You shouldn’t overdo it with topcoat though. It was fine with one coat and then I decided to add another one just to secure the beads in place but instead, the topcoat hardened an the beads started to peel off as they had formed a layer. Here is a video tutorial form MUA to help you with application:

So what do you think of my lil’ fish eggs? Yay or nay? Leave me a comment !

Till next time,

Diana

Christmas Roundup

Hello readers! I hope you had a great time these days, I sure did! Lots of food, good company and presents! Here are some highlights from yesterday!

This is my makeup from yesterday, a simple day look actually.

Face : Maybelline BB cream set with translucent powder from Essence, Tarina Tarantino Doll Skin Palette blush (bottom left hue)

Eyes : Erre Due Satin eyeshadows in silver and a lilac nameless hue, Maybelline Cat eyes Mascara

Lips : MAC lipstick in Pink Pearl Pop

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For my nails I chose a winter – like combo, Essie Borrowed and Blue with the Luxeffects Top Coat in Shine of the times.

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Xmas goodies I made : Cinnamon Rolls !!

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Pics from my hair the other day, I used hot rollers to achieve this look. Unfortunately my hair is so straight naturally that curls only last for 3 hours or so on me ( Tons of hairspray, really TONS). Nail polish is A England Dorian Grey.

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Close up on the Xmas day Eye look.

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Random nail narcissism pics.

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This is the dress I wore on Xmas, it is from H&m. I love these form fitting dresses!

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I hope you liked my random Xmas post, leave me a comment if you have any post requests! Happy holidays to everyone!

XO Diana

Lana Inspired OOTD

Remember this white outfit? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bag1gUxuU0g 

Since I saw the born to die video clip I was fascinated, along with many bloggers, with the white “peep hole” dress. Since I rarely wear all-white , as soon as I saw this black alternative on ASOS, I had to get it. At least it’s more wearable, although I would die to wear the cool flower headpiece as well ! Paired with gray jeans – black heeled boots which were unfortunately proven to be extremely painful.

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Nails are the black ombre set from “the new black” collection, bought it from Nordstrom. In the pic below you also get to see some of my wardrobe clutter (oops)

 

 

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For anyone who likes yellow, I spotted today a “Del Rey” dress on Nasty Gal, much more summer appropriate but this color does nothing for me. Check it below:

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Hope you like little OOTD posts, comment if you feel they are cool (or leave a comment to let me know how much they suck!)

Till next time,

xo Diana

Deutsch you want me baby?

NOTD at laast! I was giving my nails a break and it’s time I posted a decent notd.. Here are 2 coats of OPI – Deutsch you want me baby a fantastic lit-from-within burnt orange with Essie – Shine of Times accent nails. This polish along with all of the shimmers from the germany collection are absolute perfection!

In other news, I am trying to reorganize my nail polish drawers in a more practical way. Here is a sneak peak from 2 of my drawers.. Can you guess the brands and some of the colours?

The drawer above also contains my treatments, base and top coats, quick dry nails drops and thinner. I am always in the hunt for a good top coat. Favorite of the moment is a gift from a friend of mine and is Jordana in clear. Not sure if it is indeep a “top coat” or just a clear polish but it works wonders as I have minimal chipping every time I use it.

Would you like me to make a nail polish collection post? If so, leave a comment or any request you might have! Till next time,

xo Diana

LOTD Ruby Woo

My go to look.. When all else fails use red lipstick and black eyeliner. Can never go wrong with that.

Face : Maybelline BB cream in light set with elf HD powderImage

Eyes: Essence waterproof eyeliner in black, Lancome hypnose Doll Eye Mascara

Lips: MAC Ruby Woo

xo, Diana

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