The Warrior's Path

A great course about budo and the history of martial arts held at Dharma Gate Buddhist College in Budapest. The presenters were Szabó Balázs, Szemerei Márton and Abe Tetsushi Sensei.

Knitting for Friends

This winter I am a lot into knitting and doing hand crafted things. Stay tuned for more posts about knit items I made for my friends. I always include the free patterns, too!

Guest Posts

You are a martial artist and you have a story to tell? You have a beauty tip you want to share with everyone? Why not tell it here, on Beauty and Aikido? Any guest post is always welcome. If you want to feature on my blog just leave me a message and I will post your story.

Kawaii Makeup and Fashion

I love and follow the Asian fashion, skin care and beauty trends. If you are also a big fan of Asian beauty and style, stay tuned for my reviews, tutorials and hauls!

Presenting Aikido Dojos

This is a series of posts where I am presenting different aikido dojos from all over the world. If you want to feature too, do not hesitate to leave me a message.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Me... Two Years Ago


After the first aikido training I was really exhausted and posted a panicked question on YAHOO Answers. Thinking back I am a bit ashamed of my being so scared, but it was somehow natural. I am writing this post to all of you who are not sure if you should start aikido, or you just started and wonder what it will be like. Read the answers, most of them are really inspiring! If I were to answer my question to myself now, it would be something like this:

It is natural to feel a bit uncomfortable at the beginning, as you don't know the people and everything is new. It is also normal to feel really exhausted after a training in the first couple of month. I would add to that that I still sometimes have stiffness in my muscles it I don't train for a week for some reason and get back to a powerful training. I never used pain killers, because I was always able to live with the pain for two, three days. I somehow see it comforting because it means your muscles are getting stronger. Most of the time when I sit in the office and my muscles hurt, I am glad that it is not my back hurting and being tensed as before but a healthy kind of pain, that soon goes away. In time you will find a completely different state of mind after trainings. A sort of lightness of mind and body.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Skincare Review


I got a new haircut! You can see it in the vid :o) 
This is the first skincare review that I am posting on my channel. There is a huge beauty community out there on YouTube from which I learned a lot. My absolute favorites at the moment are fuzkittie, kandeejohnson, cutepolish and TheStyleDiet. I decided to talk a bit about the products I use at the moment and share it with you. I use the following products at the moment in my morning and/or evening skincare routine:

Neutrogena- Visibly clear pink grapefruit facial wash
Neutrogena- Deep moisture comfort balm
Neutrogena- Ultra Moisture SPF 15 for dry skin
Shiseido- White Lucent Brightening Eye Treatment
AHAVA- Gentile Eye Make-up Remover
Neutrogena- Blackhead eliminating lotion
Kiehl's- Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic
Kiehl's- Uktra Facial Moisturizer
Forever- Lips
Essence- anti-spot intensive night treatment
Essence- anti-spot moisturizer

The Make-up I am wearing in the video:

Sonya- Cream to Powder Foundation (Porcelain)
Sonya- Cactus Green Eye-shadow + Sterling Eye-shadow
Sonya- Rose Petal Blush
Max-Factor- Under Eye Concealer in Ivory 303
Max-Factor- Masterpiece Waterproof High Definition Mascara in Black
IsaDora- Brush-on Gloss 03 Candy

I will present some nice Sonya Eye-shadows I like in the next post.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How my Blog is Received


I was just checking my Stats and observed an unusually high traffic from a given blog. (thanks Felipe for that!) I got really excited about the fact that my blog was quoted on another one, but as I speak three Romance languages fluently it quickly got clear to me that it was not that good intended. It ironically analyzed how naive my idea is to alternate posts about aikido with posts about doing my nails saying that I demonstrate nothing through that. This was however the purpose when I started this dual blog. I was aware that my posts about beauty will puzzle such readers as him just as the posts about aikido will puzzle the female audience looking for beauty tips. I anyway invited the author to share a blog post with us about his favorite beer, something he would probably never dare on his own, because it would corrupt the serious and focused aspect of his own blog.

Felipe Bem-vin(d/h)o!

Sonya Make-up for the Face

As you can see from my previous posts, I am more like a skin care person, than a make-up person. That is also because the more you take care of your skin, the less make-up you need to use. I of course enjoy make up a lot, but I am really careful at choosing what I apply to my face. Especially when it comes to facial make-up that can clog up your pores and cause break-outs. Not long ago, I bought some Sonya make up for the face and eyes. In this post I am presenting the ones for the face. In my next post I will present some eye shadows and I am also planning to make a YouTube video with a look using the products, so stay tuned!


To start, I got this Cream to Powder Foundation. What I like about this brand, is the natural components it is made of, see the ingredients:


 I like using natural products that do less damage to my skin. Especially when it comes to make up that covers your whole face all day long. The consistency of this product is best described by the name. On the face, it turns from a cream into a powder.

It offers a light coverage, that can be further built upon with another layer and/or a bronzer if you feel like it is to light colored. This is what it looks like on the skin:


For a fresh and cute look, you can add some blush also.


 Be careful when using blushes. Blend it out well enough because otherwise you might risk to look clownish. If you feel you used too much blush, you can reduce the harshness by using some powder or mineral foundation. This blush contains again a series of natural ingredients and it is nicely pigmented.

A swatch of how it looks on the skin.


All you need is a nice brush to blend it in nicely. I use the ELF Studio Brushes because they are so smooth and very good quality on a low price. 

In summer I don't really use cream or liquid foundations because I don't really feel comfortable. The solution I found instead is using mineral powder foundations. This is the foundation I used the whole summer, not every day, so there is quite some product left. I also use it in other seasons when I want a really natural look.



The good thing about Sonya products is that they are not only make up but also treatment for your face as they contain ingredients like Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract and Algae Extract.



This mineral make up is a fine powder that provides a mat finish. I usually apply it with a powder brush and it gives me a natural glow I really enjoy.


I hope you enjoyed my swatches and remember if you do use make up, try picking some items that contain natural ingredients and through this do less damage to your skin. I especially recommend this for women who use make up on a daily basis.

Maeukemi the Forward Roll


One of the first thing you will learn in aikido are the rolls. It is not the roll you learn at school at PE classes, because that implies rolling over your spine. The aikido roll is performed in such a manner as to protect yourself from injury. When you are doing it really well, there should be almost no noise of hitting the ground, just a smooth rolling.

Most of the beginners have trouble with this forward roll, and with rolling in general. You hit yourself here and there until you really get the feel of it. It really helps to watch how others do it. You can watch the other in the dojo or even on tutorials on YouTube can help you a lot. The picture above is one illustrating a frequent and also really dangerous error in forward rolling. As each and every one of us has some reflexes that established along the time, we react differently when falling. However, most of us would, like this kid in the picture, put the hand down, to feel more secure as we try to find our balance. This is however totally wrong and can lead to sever injuries of the wrist and what not.
When making a forward roll, concentrate on keeping the circular movement, like this guy:


You can see the whole series of pictures here and keep in mind you can always learn from the senpai in your dojo and ask for explanations from them in case you are not sure whether you are doing it correctly. Maybe at the beginning you will think you can never make it, but with perseverance and patience you will eventually get the feel of how it is done.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lovely Honey


As spring is approaching, I get into a cutey, lovely, honey mood. In this picture above I am holding a honey cake and have nails inspired by cutepolish. The small bow makes me smile each time I take a look at it. Fun nails can be created so easily and cutepolish has some really nice tutorials. I also created one on UV Nails not long ago. You can see the blog post here.

New acquisition is a band new shimmery nail polish:



 It is a drugstore brand from Rossmann, a well known drugstore in Hungary. I liked the design of the bottle, the net like pattern and flowers on the bottom, that can be easily turned into nail art. Lovely is a Polish brand with a lot of nice colors from mate to shimmery. I chose this shimmery beige nr. 267.

Here is a swatch:


I also discovered in Rossmann that I can now purchase in Hungary also the Essence Pure Skin Range. My absolute fave is the Essence anti-spot intensive night treatment. I first used it in Holland and fell in love with it as it makes your spots fade during the night. I then bought three back-ups that I am still using now. It was somewhat comforting to see that I can now buy it here, too. In addition I also saw from the same range the Essence anti-spot moisturizer that I persevere to use every night. I also am planning an appointment to my cosmetician to have my skin cleaned thoroughly again. It is amazing how much these Essence products can help your skin when it comes to clearing. And they all cost around 3 to 5 €!! For my mixed skin type they work perfectly well. And remember it is all about persevering and not skipping any stage of your skincare routine!

I will keep you updated and will do a You Tube review of the products I use at present.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Training Camps


Training camps are really important events in each martial art. It is there that people usually get their kyu exams, but more important than that is that you finally stay focused. In your everyday life, it is hard to stay focused on one single thing. Everyone is multi-tasking and impatient. I myself have been so since my childhood. But with the occasion of a training camp you cannot help but focus on just that one thing.

As the spring training camp is approaching, I remembered the first I went to in the summer of 2010. It was quite an experience I must say. We would train around five hours a day and have free time just for eating and sleeping. This is of course really tiring, but also a great opportunity to develop. It was there that I finally learned the forward roll (at least on the right side) and started to get familiar with the free fall also. At the beginning it seemed just a funny game, but it got more and more serious every day, as my muscles were beginning to feel stiff and my whole body was aching. It was a period of great uncertainty for me, where I was asking myself questions like: are you able to push through? How many times do they need to explain you that until you understand? The others are doing much better, can you also make it?
 
 I remember a certain point where I felt it was enough, where I almost gave up. This point probably arrives for every aikidoka. You are trying so hard, but you are still not able to do the basic things. At this point you either give up or you go on and you passed over your first dead point. Just like the marathon runners, just as Murakami describes it in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I came to a serious standstill towards the end of the training camp. My left (obviously my left) shoulder was totally busted from falling incorrectly and it ached each time I had to roll. It was not as much the physical pain as the anger with myself that made me stop the training and go home to think about the whole thing. There I was, on a training camp a whole week, and no sign of getting better. As I would later realize, I did develop slightly and gained much better physical condition. However, at that point, I only saw my incapacity of performing basic moves and was really down. The last days passed as if through a dream because I was so tired and exhausted. But my body somehow adapted to workout and the normal trainings in the first week after the training camp seemed so short that I would go home on foot, even though I live far away from the dojo. The training camp definitely thought me things about pushing my boundaries. I learned that I just had to be patient and that it was just a question of time and perseverance. And isn’t that just the case in all we do in life?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

UV Gel Nails


False nails are glued to your natural nails and can cause many inconveniences. Unlike that, gel nails are applied directly to the surface of your nails, and can be taken off much more easily. In this video I made, my mother is making gel nails for me as a 25th birthday gift. The design is her ideea, hope it is inspiring to you all. You can easily prepare it yourself. Basically you need a UV lamp dryer, some brushes, buffers and the following products:

1. Perfect Nails. Perfect Bond
2. Crystal Nails. Easy Off Hardener Gel
3. Crystal Nails. Gel-Lac
4. Rimmel. Nail Tip Whitener
5. Chissá Nail Polish
5. Silver Nail Decorator
6. Kallos. UV top coat


Should you have any questions post them here or ask me on:

http://www.formspring.me/silviaikidoka

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Girl and her Aikido


After the first training, I was in major pain. I had to wear long sleeved shirts in the office for at least two weeks to hide the bloodshot mark I myself caused. Even though I was able to push a training through, afterwards I would find my body almost numb and exhausted. I was in really poor condition at that time and after trainings I would just shower and go to bed. And these were the one hour trainings at the Musubi Dojo. After around three month of training there, I moved to another town and stopped training.

After thorough researches, I started aikido again in March 2010. I enrolled to the Harmony Dojo and started going to the trainings. These would last for an hour and a half, and were much better organised. We were guided step by step how to advance in the techniques. It was there that the mae ukemi (forward roll) was at last explained to me with all the details and what it implied. At the beginning I would get really tired and  a couple of times I also asked to sit down because I was not feeling good. I was still weak but hoping and wanting to get stronger. Most of the time I would feel like not going to the trainings because I felt too weak and too stupid in comparison with the others, but I kept persevering and went training as much as my time permitted. In that spring I has a lot of work as I started a new job at a new company, but whenever I could I was sticking to the 2 trainings/week schedule. What I slowly observed was not only that I was acquiring better condition but also that I was learning a lot about how to coordinate my movements. I am still working on that, but I was amazed at the beginning how hard it was to send some commands from my brain, which understood what had to be done, to my body which should have executed it. That was why for a long time I had trouble with the rolls and with the falling techniques.

At the beginning I would have that funny sensation of what on earth will we be learning this time, will I manage? while going to the trainings. This transformed also as I was getting familiar with the people and with the techniques. But one sensation kept being the same from the beginning to now. That comfort and lightness of body one has only after training in a martial art. Just as if you were a butterfly with no tension in the muscles or joints, just lightness of spirit.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Skin

It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, when we decided to go sledging. It is great to feel the warm sun on your face in winter and it is also a rare thing. However you should never forget to protect your skin from sun damage before leaving the house. First of all it is important to use a moisturizer that has a higher SPF than your usual moisturizer if you know you will stay outside longer.


For me this VICHY Protective Sun-Cream with SPF 25 is ideal. You also need to take special care of your eye area, which is more gentle. For that I used  the VICHY stick for sensible zones with SPF 50.


It has a very convenient stick form and can be applied really easily.


With all that protection you can enjoy a carefree sledging. YUHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!




Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Aikido Training


As I mentioned in my previous post: Taking up a Martial Art. Aikido I really did some research on what martial art I should pick up before choosing aikido. I had in mind to check several dojos before deciding. I visited in person the Musubi dojo and in the genkan I was advised by a blond lady aikidoka that I was supposed to bring long sleeved T-Shirt and long trousers before I had a kimono.

First of all, you need to learn how to fall. And don’t forget to take slippers with you. We take our shoes off in the genkan.

A few days later, I participated at the first training.We lined up and greeted all at once before the beginning of the training: Onegaishimasu. This was not something I knew from previous Karate trainings, but I found it really helpful in tuning in to that special atmosphere of the dojo. Then the breathing and stretching exercises followed. I knew most of them, except the special wrist warm ups that are probably specific to martial arts like aikido, where your wrists are really put under pressure because of the several locks and grabs. At a certain point the Sempai requested us to fall. Then the ukemi waza started. I did not know of course that it was called like that. Those who were already familiar with it started, and the rest of us who were beginners were just trying to imitate. There were some slight quick explanations but I did not understand a thing. We were just expected to watch, try and imitate somehow.Then we did some techniques where I was told to grab the wrist as I would grab a stick and the training quickly ended. In the end we thanked everybody: Domo arigatou gozaimashita and went home. I could hardly move. My body was totally aching and I had a huge bloodshot mark on my left arm that I myself made by pushing my knee on my arm when I was trying to roll. Later on I would learn that I had to pay extra attention to anything I did with my left side because I was much clumsier. Whatever I learned on the right had to be learned with double effort on the left. Might it be because, as I later read in The Secret Teachings of Aikido, that is the male part of each person? Could be…

All in all after that first training it just clicked and I became an aikido junkie. I am not saying I did not have second thoughts whether it was good for me or not. I did read blogs saying that after aikido trainings you get huge pain and that pain killers are called aiki candy among aikidokas. Despite of that, watching YouTube videos about techniques, reading and training made me really attracted to this martial art. Even though it would later come to my moving to another city and interrupting the practice for several month, I did not give it up and continued at another dojo.

The Voice of Aikido

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