May Favourites

There’s one more day left in the month of May and I just wanted to show you a few of the products I’ve been enjoying using in the past few weeks. I’ve been testing so many items this month that I didn’t manage to share anything on the blog but I’m trying to be active on Instagram despite their algorithm getting worse and worse.

My skin is combination with shiny T-zone and visible pores. I also struggle with hyperpigmentation issues after blemishes heal, so about 6-7 weeks ago, I started using The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. It’s supposed to reduce the appearance of spots, to balance the sebum production and brighten the skin. The texture of the serum is a bit gloopy but spreads easily and leaves a slightly sticky residue. I always follow with another product, so this isn’t a concern for me, it doesn’t interfere with the rest of my routine, I just make sure I’m not using Vitamin C when I’m applying this serum. I haven’t noticed a difference in terms of shine around my T-zone and the size of my pores but I’ve been definitely getting less spots (it also soothes active ones) and my pigmentation seems to be fading much faster than usual. My complexion looks brighter even if I use The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% only once a day. It’s suggested to use twice a day but I usually reach for Vitamin C in the morning and they shouldn’t be mixed together, so I use the serum mostly in the evening and about 30 minutes after applying Differin or any other retinoid. I know that Niacinamide helps my skin a lot, I’ve tried it in moisturisers, cleansers, serums and that’s a great budget option, so I really need to repurchase this product.

I’m back to Norway and I’m really happy to witness warmer and sunnier days. The sun here (whenever there is sunshine) shines much brighter and stronger than many other places I’ve been to and sun protection is very important for me, especially considering I’m using acids on a daily basis. And although I’m always on the hunt for the best face sunscreen for combination skin, I think I’ve found my favourite lip SPF. L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Lip Balm SPF 25 in the shade Rose Nude is a tinted lip balm with added sun protection. It looks really bright in the bullet but it gives me just a hint of soft pink tint and a healthy sheen without being too shiny. The texture of the balm is smooth and feels weightless on the lips, it’s not thick like many lip balms with SPF. The cap twists off at the base and I think it’s a nice idea because often lipsticks and lip balms tend to open in handbags and then it can get quite messy and not really hygienic. I love that it’s tinted because I tend to apply only a face sunscreen and this lip balm on a Sunday morning and go out for a short run in the nature, it makes me look a bit more fresh without applying makeup but they also have a clear version of it.

In the past year, I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of items containing sulphates in my everyday life, mainly because of a skin issue that occured. And it hasn’t been that easy, to be fair. Everything around us contains sulphates and I often need to place online orders for products all the way from the US or go to specific shops where prices are much higher. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see a sulphate-free shampoo in my local supermarket. Unfortunately, the range doesn’t seem to cater an exact product for my type of hair but I picked up one of the shampoos. L’Oréal Paris Botanicals Fresh Care with Lavender Shampoo aims to soothe and nourish sensitive scalps and fine, fragile hair. My hair isn’t fine but my scalp is quite sensitive, so I decided to try it out. As a person who goes through shampoo incredibly quickly, I appreciate the fact that this one comes in a big 400 ml bottle with a pump that actually works and dispenses the right amount of product. It has a subtle lavender scent which I personally like but people who aren’t fans of herbal scents, probably wouldn’t be so happy about it. The formula is vegan and contains no sulphates, no parabens, colourants or silicones. It’s enriched with organic lavender essential oil, soya and coconut oils.  It leaves my hair clean but not stripped, it makes it soft, shiny and easy to manage, I really like this shampoo and I’m pleasantly surprised. The packaging is made from 100% recycled materials and I think I might try more from the range.

Usually, my hands are really dry in the winter but they get better during the warmer months even without the help of a hand cream. However, this year, I’ve been struggling a bit with the condition of my hands and a few weeks ago, it went to a point where my hands looked as if it’s December, peeling, bleeding and hurting. I decided to try the Neal’s Yard Remedies Geranium & Orange Hand Cream and it didn’t disappoint. I like to use it before going to bed because I’ll usually apply a thick layer of it but it actually sinks into the skin quite nicely. It has a subtle herbal scent and contains Glycerin, Soya Oil, Almond Oil, Beeswax, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice and 92% of the ingredients are of organic origin. It’s really nourishing and hydrating and I’d recommend it in any season.

But here is a summer favourite. I’ve had the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream for quite a while but when people said it had a lot of shimmer in it, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it, at all. And then everyone thinking it’s a miracle product that would erase your cellulite, no, it won’t. But it contains antioxidants that have an anti-ageing effect, a blend of nourishing oils and caffeine and together they work to smooth out the skin, to support natural circulation and to lock in moisture. And that’s what this cream does without feeling heavy or leaving a sticky residue. I’m in love with the exotic nutty scent, it’s not overpowering or too sweet and lingers even on the next day. At first, the texture seems thick but the cream almost melts onto the skin and absorbs quite quickly leaving just a slight hydrating layer on top… and a lot of shimmer. That’s the only thing I dislike in this cream, it’s really shimmery and it’s the only shimmery product I keep using. And I even got a second tub of it.

It’s interesting how something doesn’t need to be perfect to be good and even amazing, more so when we talk about bodycare products. This is what I’ve been loving in the month of May when it comes to beauty and I guess we’re all ready to welcome the summer months.

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April Favourites


We’ve finally had spring temperatures in Norway! It’s amazing to see how even seagulls look much happier now.
April has been quite tough, to be honest and it may sound superficial but shutting the bathroom door in the evening and doing my skincare routine, instantly transfers me to a calmer place. Of course, I can’t forget about the troubles that me and my loved ones are facing but this ritual somehow makes me feel a bit better.

When I started using face masks in the morning because of the retinoid that is part of my evening skincare routine, it felt quite unusual at the beginning. I’m now used to it and it’s actually really nice to welcome the day with a fresh face. On the weekends, I like doing purifying masks and then to use a sheet mask but on a week day, I’d just go for something like the Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Mask. It’s my favourite spot treatment, I’m in love with this face mask because it keeps my face clear and smooth. I use it twice a week even if I don’t have blemishes because it also prevents from getting new ones. It doesn’t dry out my skin but I always apply moistursing products after washing the mask off. I did a comparison between this mask and the Sunday Riley Saturn which I love, as well and you can have a read here.

While we were in Lisbon in March, looking for Ceramidin Cream, we found the Dr. Jart + Help Me Ceramidin Trial Kit. It contains the cream, the liquid and the gel-cream versions. My boyfriend has really dry and sensitive skin, so we wanted something that would give him moisture without irritating the skin. I started using Ceramidin Liquid as a serum or a moisturiser on its own while my boyfriend used the liquid followed by the cream and we both saw instant results. What surprised me was that he liked the liquid even more than the cream and I couldn’t believe that such a thin and runny texture could moisturise his skin so well. He began using only the liquid without applying the cream afterwards to compare and his skin was still looking soft and there were no dry patches anymore. We’ve now ordered the full size of Ceramidin Liquid and it’s become a staple for both of us. I love using it in the evening 20-30 minutes after applying Differin, it makes such a difference to my skin, it’s soothing and nourishing. It has a slight scent, absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. It doesn’t break me out which was my main concern and we’re really happy that it works well on both, dry and combination, blemish-prone skin.

I can’t believe I haven’t talked about my favourite lip balm in the past couple of months! I’ve featured it on my Instagram and I absolutely love it. Inkuto is a brand based in Finland but their founder is from Ghana. She helps empower women in her country and promotes the African natural resources that are economically and ecologically sustainable. They have different soaps, oils, body butters and they’re mostly known for the hand-crafted African Black Soap and the Shea Butter products. My favourite is their Shea Butter Lip Balm with Mango Oil, they also have ones with Coconut Oil and Raspberry Oil. It’s a beautiful little balm that melts onto the skin, feels smooth and shiny and if I leave it overnight, I wake up to the softest lips. The lip balm has a lovely light scent and a bit grainy texture which is the feature I love the most, as it gives a slight exfoliation to the lips. It’s wonderful and I’m really happy when I find small brands with great ideas behind them.

I’ve confessed multiple times my love for Rituals body products and although I’m not the biggest fan of floral scents, The Ritual of Sakura must be my favourite range from them. But it’s not your typical floral scent, it’s light and fresh and even a bit fruity but not overpowering or sweet, it’s perfect! I’ve been loving The Ritual of Sakura Shower Oil for the spring days. The pretty bottle has a pump which is really convenient and the oil turns into a milky emulsion in contact with water. It leaves a moisturising feel and makes my skin soft and nourished. I still use body moisturisers afterwards and I don’t think it would make a huge difference if you have very dry skin but it definitely has a hydrating feel to it. I love how the scent lingers in the bathroom for an hour or so, it’s a beautiful fragrance.

And speaking of fragrances, I started reaching for more spring/summer scents already in March because I just couldn’t wait any longer to wear them. One of my favourites is the beautiful Acqua di Parma Blu Meditarraneo Fico di Amalfi. It’s a unisex fragrance and it takes me to sunny Italy whenever I’m wearing it, I adore this scent. It’s not too sweet, it combines slight fruity sweet notes with woody and citrusy ones, it’s fresh and warm at the same time, sunny and juicy. Top notes are of Bergamot, Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon and Mandarin Wood. Heart is composed of my favourite Fig, Pink Pepper and Jasmine and the base is rich in Musk, Cedar and Fig Milk. I have a set of three of these that I often mix together but in the past few weeks, Fico di Amalfi has been perfect on its own. I’d highly recommend checking this scent out if you’re looking for a summer fragrance, it’s fresh and edgy, zesty and clean and it puts you in the mood for a sunny holiday. The only downside for me is that it doesn’t last as much as I would like to but I don’t mind spritzing it a couple more times a day, considering how handbag-friendly the bottle is.

I would love to know what your favourite spring and summer fragrances are and I hope you’ve had a lovely month.

Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask vs Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque

My combination skin has a long love story with clay masks. I use them once or twice a week, I apply them as a spot treatment for half an hour or overnight and after I got severely clogged pores last summer, all the dermatologists I visited had one thing in common, they all suggested me to keep using my beloved clay masks. The type of skin problem I’ve been dealing with is just as unpleasant as all the other skin problems but what makes the experience even more frustrating is the fact that you see redness and feel the bumps but they’re so deep under the skin that you think nothing can reach and heal them. Of course, I’m far from the thought of telling you that masks can do the whole job, I’ve been prescribed Differin which has made a huge difference to my skin but I still need and like to maintain what’s been achieved, so far. Plus, who doesn’t like to pamper themselves with a face mask?

When I started purchasing more products from skincare brands in the US, I noticed that clay masks with added 10% sulfur seemed to be quite popular. The results that people shared sounded almost too good to be true. I’m probably a bit late to the party but it doesn’t look like it’s as popular in Europe as in the US.
I ordered a set from Sunday Riley that contained their Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask, I loved it and decided to purchase the Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque, as well. I’ve been having them for about 3 months and I decided to do a comparison post.
I must say, this is my favourite type of face mask I’ve tried, so far, it helps my skin a lot, it’s not too drying and I get just an occasional breakout since I’ve started using sulfur treatments but nothing too scary.

Sunday Riley Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask comes in a 60 ml tube for the price of $55, I have the 20 ml mini and I’m keeping what’s left of it for travelling and serious disasters, it’s amazing but it’s just really pricey. My other issue is that I have to import it from the US and pay extremely high taxes and shipping fees. The product inside the tube is yellow green and the texture is a bit like a mousse. You can kind of see it in this post and that’s the second time I mentioned the mask.
The first few times I used it only as a spot treatment because many people said it was too drying and gave them chemical burn. I noticed a difference on the following days, my spots were less red and angry and a couple of days later they were almost gone. I experienced only slight stinging sensation at the moment of application but nothing too painful or drying after that. Then I decided to try using it on larger areas of my face but still not on the entire face. I’d just apply a thin layer of the mask on my problematic zones and leave it on for 30 minutes. The mask washes off really easily and my skin doesn’t feel too tight afterwards. Sunday Riley Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask contains 10 % sulfur that fights different forms of acne while preventing future breakouts, 4% niacinamide, zinc PCA, bentonite clay, tea tree oil and manuka oil, brilliant ingredients list. I’ve been almost completely blemish-free since I started using the treatment twice a week, I know everyone is different and it might not work well on all but it works for me and I couldn’t be happier. Now, it doesn’t fight blackheads and doesn’t make my pores appear smaller but I wasn’t even hoping for that. All I wanted was clear skin with no bumps, red spots and clogged pores and I got what I needed.

Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque is stored in a 142 g jar for the price of $47. Luckily, I can find this one in more countries, I got mine from Norway. This ones has a thick and creamy texture, it’s very different from the Sunday Riley one, they both stink but this is sulfur, so it’s normal. I’m actually used to the smell because when the kitties that we adopt have certain type of skin problems, they get prescribed an ointment containing 20% sulfur but you might need some time to stop thinking about the smell.
The Peter Thomas Roth mask contains 10% sulfur, just like Sunday Riley, bentonite clay, kaolin and soothing aloe vera. I use it twice a week on the entire face or overnight as a spot treatment if I need but I rarely do.  It’s suggested to apply a thick and opaque layer but my personal preference is to use just a a light and thin layer of the mask. It works brilliant and it’s a bit less drying than the Sunday Riley one but a lot more difficult to wash off. It’s suggested to leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes but I keep it on for half an hour. My skin doesn’t feel tight or stripped afterwards and as long as I’m applying a moisturiser after washing my face, everything’s fine.

After I started using these masks, I can see that my complexion continues to get better and I hope soon I can forget about the nightmare that began last summer. For me, the Peter Thomas Roth mask would be the one I’d keep repurchasing, it’s more affordable because it contains a lot more product for a similar price. I’m absolutely in love with Sunday Riley Saturn and I might even like a little bit more than the Therapeutic Sulfur Masque but it’s just too expensive for a lot less product.
Sulfur turned out to be a great ingredient for my skin and I’m looking forward to finding new products with it.

Love It or Hate It… | Byredo Gypsy Water Perfumed Oil Roll-On


At first glance, Gypsy Water is a scent I’d never wear. It’s too warm and soft for my taste, especially, in this perfumed oil form.
And speaking of perfumed oils, I have to say, I’m surprised not many people talk about them. They are usually quite handy and travel-friendly, the longevity is much better than a standard spray perfume and you don’t need to use that much, considering you don’t spritz it all over your body but you just apply it on your wrists and behind the ears.

Honestly, I got Byredo Gypsy Water in an oil form just because the spray EDP was sold out that day. And I’m actually glad I did that. But I still think that maybe I should have gotten Mojave Ghost instead.

And before it starts sounding totally confusing for you, I have to say, I applied Gypsy Water behind my boyfriend’s ears the other day although he was concerned that it was too feminine. A couple of minutes later, man’s chemistry turned this scent into  a woody and smoky beauty. I wish it smelled like that on me but on me, it feels much more powdery and warm. I admit, there are days when I’m not sure if I’d want to wear Gypsy Water, at all, days when I even dislike it on me and then there are days when I absolutely love it. Its warm elements, the glowing amber, the luscious sandalwood, the notes of juniper and incense… It feels cosy like a soft sweater on a freezing day, like warm crackles of the wood in the fireplace while it’s snowing outside…

Maybe it’s because it’s quite a complex scent. Top notes are of lemon, pepper, juniper. Heart notes: incense, pine needles, orris root. Base: amber, vanilla, sandalwood.

All scents feel different depending on the body chemistry but this one, in particular smells so different on everyone that you never know if it would suit you or not. Many say this is a citrusy scent and I’d like to disagree, as I don’t detect that too much and the notes are rather lemon leaves than lemon zest.
Also, the scent changes on me depending on the weather conditions and that’s probably my biggest problem. It’s not so nice on me when it’s too cold or too warm, I love it on fresh, a bit warmer days but not warm like summer, it’s a lot more crisp and the pine notes are more noticeable.

It’s definitely a unisex fragrance but I still think it smells better on men than on women (I’ve smelled it not only on me and my boyfriend but on another people, as well and that’s my personal observation). It’s a discreet and elegant scent, soft and sensual but maybe a bit too creamy for me.
Longevity in the perfumed oil form is much better than the spray, so if you love Gypsy Water, try the roll-on.

For me, this is not an easy to wear scent, it doesn’t suit everyone and I’m still unsure if it suits me, to be honest. Perhaps, Mojave Ghost would have been a better pick but I don’t regret having Gypsy Water in my perfume collection and I’m curious to know if you have it, too and how you feel about it.

March Favourites

Spring is upon us and although it’s still quite cold outside, sunshine finally shows up and puts a smile on my face. March has been filled with good and bad surprises but I’m trying to think of our trip to Lisbon. I felt so calm and relaxed there and I’d be really happy to go back one day.

Speaking of Portugal, I did quite a bit of unplanned beauty shopping but unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to try most of the new items yet. In case you haven’t seen the haul post, it’s here.

My favourite beauty products of the month are a mix of some skincare, fragrance and a makeup product. Most of them are minis because they’re really easy to take when you’re travelling, so I’ve been mainly using travel size products.

Starting off with a skincare item that I was very curious about but didn’t have any expectations. I’ve heard so many different opinions on the Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner, from people sharing how it had dried out their skin to others saying how the texture of their skin had been transformed into a beautiful and smooth, glowy and poreless canvas, that I didn’t know what to expect. My experience is a little bit different. I don’t have poreless skin and I never will, my skin hasn’t been dried out and luckily, the toner didn’t break me out but indeed, it made the texture of my skin a bit smoother. Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner has a scent, similar to rose water but the type of rose water you’d get from a pharmacy, if that makes sense. It feels very gentle on my skin and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. I noticed a difference in my skin after a couple of weeks of using the toner, it’s now more radiant, soft and clear. I’m pretty happy with this toner and I’m now trying to find the mini sizes they’ve just launched.

I’m new to essences, as I’ve tried only two, so far but I have to say, I like them both. Today I’m talking about the one I’ve been using for longer and I’m not usually a fan of piling on dozens of skincare products but this extra step has made a significant change to my skin condition. Belif have several types of essences and I purchased a travel size set from the brand as an introduction to their range. The set contains one of their essences. Belif Hungarian Water Essence is a really lightweight serum that feels hydrating after being instantly absorbed by the skin. I use it after my toner and before my moisturiser, morning and evening. I love the way it feels on the skin, it’s almost like water and I can see that it moisturises my skin without leaving it greasy. This has been my favourite texture since I discovered Water Drop by Dr. Jart + last summer and my skin seems to love it, as well. Belif Hungarian Water Essence contains a blend of apothecary herbs, such as rosemary and lavender, that are both, hydrating and antioxidant. If you’re having oily/combination skin that is prone to breakouts, that’s the type of moisturiser you need to try. I think it would be amazing in the summer on its own. I’m yet to try the brand’s Aqua Bomb cream but this essence has been fantastic on my skin, so far.

I’ve mentioned the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream a few times on my blog already and I had to include it in a favourites post mainly because it surprised me. If you think about the Belif essence and its texture, the Drunk Elephant Cream is exactly the opposite. It’s rich and thick and I felt a bit unsure at the beginning, that’s why I’m mainly using it at night. But it surprised me because it doesn’t feel heavy although it takes a bit longer to absorb and doesn’t clog my pores. My skin feels soft and moisturised, it’s not irritated and I’m starting to love more and more Drunk Elephant. I still think that this cream would be too rich for my skin in the summer but I’ve been loving it in the winter months.

It’s surprising I haven’t talked about Surratt‘s Smoky Eye Baton in the shade Etincelle until now. I got it in the Liberty Advent Calendar and I’ve been wearing it ever since, especially the pencil side. It’s basically a double-sided pencil with a creamy liner on one side and an eyeshadow on the other. The brand describes the shade as copper but on me it is more of a smoky bronze and makes the eyes look quite sultry. I love the pencil side, it’s creamy, easy to use and smudge and you get a gorgeous eye look in just a minute. The eyeshadow side has a tapered sponge and the shade is quite pigmented and really pretty. Sometimes I’d apply it only on my top lid or I’d use it to smudge the pencil even more. I don’t use the shadow side that often, as it’s sadly, not the most long-wearing one and creases even if I wear a primer but the colours are absolutely gorgeoous and perfect for every day or for a night out.

Since we spent some time in Lisbon and the weather there was really nice, I started thinking more of spring/summer scents. On a sunny day like today, I’d use Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia on its own and when it’s a bit colder, I’d mix it with something deeper, like Pomegranate Noir. It’s a beautiful combination, still fresh but a bit deeper. The brand describes English Pear & Freesia as an autumn scent that is floral and fruity but for me, it’s a wonderful spring scent that is not too floral, nor too fruity, it’s juicy but delicate, crispy and fresh, clean, polished and elegant. It’s beautiful!

These are my most loved products for the month of March. Hope you’re having a sunny day!

The Lovely Little Bits

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