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let me influence you 

While I usually pride myself in writing critical pieces on topics like society, politics or human relationships, I can’t deny that I love the cosmetic industry. From my obsession with brand identity, ethics in the beauty industry, ingredients and pop culture and me to you, whom I’ll gladly influence with my top picks for the year 2023.

Von Sina Schmid

Okay, not to toot my own horn, but I did get the nickname «Influencer» from my friends and family for a reason. I like my 8-step skin care routine, I like to research ingredients and brands, I like to test new products, I like to read and recommend the crème de la crème to anyone who’ll listen. 

I’m also quite picky when it comes to literally anything I consume, whether it’s what I put on my skin, eat and drink (since I basically have the stomach of a toddler, easily upset and not very experimental) or read: best believe it’s backed up.

My latest influencing victim was my cousin, who spent 8 days in the US of A with me and my suggestions to make her life better, prettier or more convenient. At this point I’d like to apologize to her patience, luggage space and wallet. 

But why stop with my inner circle when I can overshare my thoughts and recommendations through my favourite online magazine?

My specialities are books, skincare and lip products. So, true to my self-proclaimed expertise, let’s start with cosmetics!

My top lip product in 2023 was the «Makeup by Mario» «Moistureglow Plumping Lip Serum» in «Pink Glow» or «Nude Glow». The mix between a lip balm and lip gloss is truly uh-mazing. My expectations for a good lip product were set by Rihanna herself. However, when I don’t feel like pulling out my beloved «Fenty Beauty» «Gloss Bomb», I opt for the conveniently packaged «Makeup by Mario Lippies». 

I’m not a huge fan of «spicy» plumping agents, so the «Moisterglow» is the perfect amount of plumping but not burning. What I also love is a gloss or balm that leaves my lips moisturized even after the product has worn off. Mario came and delivered.

Next up in my beauty faves is the «Living Proof» «Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo». Honestly, I like the whole series, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. It’s quite embarrassing to elaborate on how long I can push hair wash days to the future when I use this. 

I will say, though, I don’t recommend this dry shampoo for people who shy away from some texture after dry shampooing. If you don’t mind texture: this is it. I won’t even try to justify the price of this, it’s astronomical. But it does last quite a while, so I tend to turn a blind eye.

Next up is my facial moisturizer. Everyone who has tried it (and I forced a lot of my friends to do so) has loved and re-bought it. The «Pyunkang Yul» «Nutrition Cream» is perfect for summer and winter, doesn’t have harsh active ingredients, or smell like anything at all and is suitable for sensitive skin and the eye area.

It’s the last step in my nighttime routine, sometimes when I feel crazy I add some self tanning drops to it and wake up with glowing skin every morning, either way. 

Let’s move on to drinks (and food). As mentioned: I am quite a picky girl. So, my favourites are well tested and highly approved. 

Since I don’t drink alcohol, I tend to go for alternatives. While I love me a virgin mojito, I started to develop an addiction to ginger ale. Better than sparkling water and sprite, not as sweet as coke I enjoy and drink it more than I should. 

Close second would be a Café Mocha, iced or warm, preferably with oat milk (yay lactose intolerance). While I’m not vegan by any means, I love the taste of oat milk with my Mochas. The sweetness of the chocolate with the earthiness of oat milk mix really well with the bitterness of coffee. My faves would either be at Café UNO in Baden or Dunkin‘ Donuts (don’t ask).

After this rather weird and specific detour, let’s move on to something a bit more intellectual: my favourite non-fiction books of 2023.

Not in order of preference but rather chronology: «Krieg und Chaos in Nahost – Eine Arabische Sicht» by Aktham Suliman. I started reading this book at the end of 2022 and finished it in the beginning of 2023. A critical yet personal piece on the waging conflicts in the Middle East. It discusses past issues and how they translate into the present. 

Shortly after, I devoured «A Higher Loyalty» by James Comey, an Ex-FBI Director who was fired during the Trump administration. Comey talks about ethics and leadership at different stages in his life and career. He also touches up on the subject of Donald Trump, the beginning and aftermath of his presidency. 

Last but not least «The End of Policing» by Alex S. Vitale. The book discusses different aspects of policing in general, goals and problems with the current system in the US, however the observations and conclusions are not limited to that specific geographical area. His fact based and research backed book, leaves readers with a new outlook on different governmental structures globally. 

To wrap this influencing spree up, I also must recommend my overhead, noise-cancelling headphones. I bought them at the beginning of 2023 and love and cherish them dearly. The «Sony» «WH-1000XM5», albeit their name is long and weird, are truly a game changer compared to my flimsy Apple cord headphones (that I love regardless). The battery life lasts long (24h) and they charge quite fast. I did my research before buying them since, you know, money, and Sony did not disappoint. The noise-cancelling is awesome, maybe even too good. 

Okay, so, that’s enough consumerism for a year! I don’t encourage going out and just buy everything I recommended (besides the books, those are a must) but if you are looking for anything within those categories, my picks are definitely the way to go. 

Cheers to 2023!

30. Dezember 2023

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