Not For Me #5


I haven’t done a blog post with disappointing products since last summer when my skin problems started. I’m happy to see an improvement in my skin condition although it still needs recovery.

I’ve been keeping my skincare routine quite minimal as you might have seen in my previous posts or on Instagram photos. But I’m always curious about different skincare products and I’d gradually incorporate them into my regimen to see if they can help me or not.

Sadly, even if a product is supposed to be good on a certain skin type or against a specific problem, it might not work well on all of us.

I had such high hopes for the TONYMOLY Egg Pore Blackhead Steam Balm and I’ve been using it twice a week for the past 2-3 months but it just doesn’t do anything for me. Essentially, this is a self-heating treatment that should remove dirt and impurities from the pores. It contains charcoal powder, sea salt, vitamin E and egg shell powder. It’s supposed to act like a steam to open up pores and refine the complexion. I love the way it looks and the whole concept behind the product, it feels like a rich balm, smells nice and contains biodegradable natural exfoliators. It applies smoothly and it should heat up but I don’t feel any warmth even when I’m massaging it on my face for 3-5 minutes. When I wash it off, the only difference I feel is that my T-zone is smooth but nothing in the appearance is changed. I thought I needed to use it for a month or so to see results but almost 3 months later, there is absolutely no difference. I’m going to use it up but I won’t be repurchasing. However, I’m curious to try similar products from other Korean brands.

Herborist is a Chinese brand that combines the idea of herbal extracts and modern biotechnical achievements. I haven’t heard many people in Europe talk about it but I love minis and I love sets, so I got the brand’s discovery kit from the Italian Sephora and two of the products inside were the T’ai Chi Masks. There’s a black one that you’re supposed to use first to purify the skin and a white one, that would hydrate it after that. Usually, they come together in a big yin-yang tub and the idea seemed quite interesting to me, considering how I love charcoal masks but I always need something more hydrating after washing it off. I follow the instructions because you’re supposed to massage the masks before letting them do the rest of their work although the black one gets dry pretty quickly and it’s hard to complete the massage.
After washing off the black masks, I always see that it leaves black particles in my pores and I almost need to scrub them off, it’s quite hard to take them away and my skin feels pretty tight afterwards. I don’t see any difference in my complexion, it’s not clearer or more radiant.
After using the white mask, my skin feels softer but in no way hydrated or soothed. It also contains mineral oil which is really surprising for me, considering the high price tag. I hope the day and eye creams from the kit are going to be better because sadly, the masks were disappointing.

In the past half a year, I’ve been trying to avoid skincare that contains essential oils. They can irritate my skin, they often break me out but seeing how KORA Organics Purifying Moisturiser promised to be lightweight and to prevent breakouts, I decided to give it a go. I actually have the set for oily/combination skin but I still haven’t tried the other two products and now I’m a bit unsure if I should.
First of all, this moisturiser is anything but lightweight. It looks runny but feels quite heavy and it just doesn’t sink into the skin. It sits on top of it like a wash-off face mask and I can hardly spread it over the face. I’m not sure if there might be a possibility that I got a bad one but I tried using it with different products underneath or only on its own and it just never worked out. Ten minutes after trying to apply it, my face gets pretty oily and there is no chance to use this lotion if I want to wear makeup afterwards. That’s why I was using it only at night until I realised that it broke me out. I got spots even around my chest area and I never get spots there, it’s been so frustrating. Unfortunately, apart from the divine scent I can’t say anything positive about this moisturiser.

These are the latest products that disappointed me or even made my problems worse. Have you tried any of them?

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January Favourites

It’s the last day of the first month of 2018! Time really flies!
And although the flowers above are making it seem like it’s already spring, it feels like winter has absolutely no intentions to leave, not just yet.

But I have to say this winter has been quite mild although my skin is still a bit dehydrated. I just recently did a review on the Votary Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil here, so I will try not to repeat myself but I’d like to say that cleansing oils usually break me out and this one was such a joy to find and to start using. It’s great on my combination but dehydrated skin, it cleanses it really gently yet effectively and it makes me look forward to my evening skincare routine every day.

After I was suggested by a dermatologist to try wearing less makeup, now I’d just go for concealer, powder, mascara and lip balm. I’m not an eyeshadow person, I’ve said that before but somehow I like it when my eyes look a bit more defined. I prefer a soft wash of colour that looks elegant and makes the eyes pop. There have been a few options that I’ve been reaching for a lot but today, I’d like to share with you this mini of the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst. The shade is something between a soft mauve and warm taupe and has kind of a bronze metallic finish, it’s simply stunning and I feel like it would look great on everyone. The formula is creamy and glides on easily, blends like a dream and it’s extremely long-lasting. I always have to use a primer because everything creases on my lids except for this one! I forgot to use a primer a few times before applying Amethyst and whenever I looked in the mirror, it stayed perfect. The colour is very pigmented but flattering and not screaming. I use this as an eyeshadow or as a liner, I like smudging it over my bottom lash line, it’s also fantastic for a smokey eye.

My hands are very dry at the moment, it always happens at this time of the year, I wash them too often and I don’t apply hand creams regularly. The one that’s been giving me quick results though comes from Burt’s Bees and it’s their Ultimate Care Hand Cream for extremely dry skin. It seems like it’s possible that packaging is slightly different now or it’s just because I have minis but I found two in my stash and I’ve been keeping one at home and one in my handbag. This hand cream has been a true saviour, thanks to the Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil and a natural fruit acid complex to gently exfoliate the skin. It’s 98.9% natural, it’s has a rich, thick consistency but it’s not too heavy or greasy. It has a light scent that is quite natural. Although my hands are still dry and nothing can really cure them right now, this hand cream makes such a difference to them whenever I apply it, it instantly hydrates and nourishes while keeping the effect for a few hours. I like to apply it at night and wake up to smooth and soft hands which doesn’t happen very often in the winter.

There are two hair products that really helped me keep my locks nourished and shiny during the windy and rainy winter days. When I first got the ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud in my Liberty Advent Calendar, I thought it would be just an extra step that wouldn’t do much of a difference. But oh, was I wrong… Essentially, it’s a pre-shampoo treatment that you spread all over damp hair (I concentrate on my scalp) and leave it on for at least 20 minutes or overnight. I’ve never used it as an overnight mask, I just can’t imagine going to bed with damp hair and clay that dries out on my head. I’d leave it on for 30-60 minutes, then rinse it off and then continue with my usual shampoo. This treatment would be suitable for any hair type, considering how my roots get greasy quite easily and this product doesn’t do that. The first time I used it, I couldn’t believe how soft (but not frizzy), shiny and simply wonderful my hair looked.
ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud contains Vitamin C-rich Watercress and Red Clay to soothe and nourish the scalp, Castor Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil for strong and healthy-looking hair and even Rose Flower Extract. The brand suggests that the product can be used on dry skin on the body, as well. After applying it on my scalp and hair, I usually massage what’s left on my hands and it feels really nice, especially now that they’re so dry.
This treatment would be great for those of you who suffer from flaky scalp in the colder months, it’s very soothing and replenishing.
I haven’t tried other products from ESPA but I might need to… or at least get a full size of their pink mud.

Once a week I like to deep cleanse my hair. I often feature purifying shampoos on my blog, I try different ones all the time and it was quite surprising for me that I hadn’t used the following cult classic before. Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo* is a product everybody knows about but somehow it was never available around me.
Before I continue, I’d like to mention that this product is supposed to be used as a daily shampoo or as a pre-cleanse treatment once a week before a regular shampoo.
The Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo* has paraben- and silicone-free formula and is made with Onsen (Japanese hot spring) inspired ferment that are known in Japan for their purifying qualities. It keeps scalp’s balance while gently cleanses the hair. The texture is quite lightweight and easy to work with, it lathers nicely and makes my hair clean and soft.
I wouldn’t say it keeps it cleaner for longer than other shampoos but I wash my hair every other day, I always wash it twice and that’s pretty often, so, for me, it’s more important that this product doesn’t irritate and dry out my scalp. It draws out impurities and buildup while keeping the moisture and volume and leaving a nice delicate scent.

It’s been quite rainy in the past couple of weeks here which tends to make me more tired and in a dismal mood. So, I’ve been looking forward to every evening when I can just shut the bathroom door, take a hot shower and do my skincare routine. Such simple rituals make me feel relaxed and there’s been one body product that makes the whole experience even more enjoyable. I got the Decléor 100 Grain Body Exfoliator in their advent calendar and to be honest, I didn’t think I would like it. I rarely like body scrubs because they’re either too harsh or dissolve much before I manage to exfoliate my skin. However, Decléor 100 Grain Body Exfoliator might be the best body exfoliant I’ve ever used. It’s suggested to use on dry skin and to make the application easier, to apply an oil before that. I’ve tried using on damp skin, as well and I still love it. The formula is enriched with Grapefruit Essential Oil, Pear Sugar, Argan Shell, Orange Peel and Fruit Acids such as Grape, Pineapple and Passion Fruit. The gel turns into an oil when you start massaging it into the skin and then it gets milky in contact with water which makes it really easy to rinse off. It leaves my skin so soft and smooth, as if I’ve applied a body oil, hydrated and nourished. And the scent… I can’t describe it but it’s gorgeous and if you’ve tried anything from the brand, you probably know what I mean.

Last but certainly not least, one of my all-time favourite scents, Thé Noir 29 by Le Labo. I don’t think I can describe with words how beautiful this perfume is. It’s addictive, it’s deep but fresh, it’s leafy and dry. We all know that fragrances feel different on different skin, on me, Thé Noir 29 is like a cup of black tea with fig and bay leaves present, it’s a bit smokey and woody, rich and bitter. It’s not difficult for me to fall in love with this fragrance, considering how much I adore fig scents. But the fig here is different, it’s dry and dark, rather than juicy and fruity. I can feel Thé Noir 29 even at the end of the day, after I take a shower, it’s still there, on my pillow, at night and the morning after, it’s amazing…

And while I’m still lost in this gorgeous creation and the idea of it, it’s time to say goodbye to January and to welcome February.

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First Impressions | Drunk Elephant & Sunday Riley


There’s something rather attractive about brands and products that you simply can’t get hold of. It’s so difficult to find them that you want to try them even more. Until the day your boyfriend and a real-life Santa (even when it’s not Christmas) brings you a box of goodies. He always seems to know what I’m curious about even when I don’t talk about it and he’s been really helpful since I started fighting with my skin problems last summer.

After a bit long introduction to the subject, I should state that I’ve been using the following products for a couple of weeks now and I still haven’t formed my opinion on them but the results I’ve seen, so far, make me want to try more from these brands.

I’ve known about Sunday Riley for a while but I wasn’t sure how I felt about it simply because of the high price tag. And yes, there are many expensive products out there but Sunday Riley‘s seemed a bit outrageous to me. I got a set from them and I still can’t say if it lives up to its claims because I’ve tried only one of the items, so far. Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask is a medicated 10 % sulfur treatment that fights different forms of acne (like blocked pores, for example, which has been my skin issue for over 7 months) while preventing future breakouts. It also has 4% niacinamide, a skin-restoring ingredient that I love, Zinc PCA and Bentonite Clay to clear impurities and reduce excess oil without drying the skin out. I also noticed Tea Tree Oil and Manuka Oil in the ingredients list, all amazing ingredients. It sounded too good to be true, so I applied it immediately after I got it. I must say I haven’t used this product as a mask on my entire face yet. I really hope it does prevent future spots and I’m about to test this out but for now, I’ve used it as a spot treatment on a few blemishes around my forehead (sometimes I can’t resist chocolate). It’s suggested to cleanse and dry the skin, apply the treatment and leave it on for about 20-30 minutes or overnight. I’ve tried it both ways and I was happy to see that my skin wasn’t dried out or flaky afterwards. When I’m applying the mask, I feel a slight stinging sensation for a few seconds but it’s not burning. On the following day, my spots looked less angry and calmer, they weren’t as itchy/painful as earlier but they were still there. The same happened when I tried it on different blemishes and different days. Usually, the major difference can be noticed a couple of days later. I can say that the spots heal a bit quicker when I’m using Saturn and I can’t wait to try the U.F.O. Face Oil, it’s suggested to use it after the mask. I’m still not sure how it would feel if I use the treatment on my whole face or only on my T-zone, considering the percentage of sulfur in the formula. I know that my skin is now used to topical retinoids and stronger acids but I don’t have any experience with sulfur, so it’s going to be interesting.

When I first came across Drunk Elephant, it appealed to me because of the idea behind the name, the packaging and the aim not to include ”the suspicious 6” in their products (silicones, chemical screens, sensitising perfumes/colourants, SLS, essential oils and drying alcohols). Essential oils break me out and I’m still struggling with bad reaction after the use of a chemical sunscreen in the summer, so this brand seemed even more fascinating to me.
But what should I try? I really wasn’t sure and I felt like The Littles set was the best in order to try as many products as I could. Too bad they don’t have a mini of their T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial though, I really want to try it out.
But anyway, today I’m sharing more about a hydrating duo that can be used both, day and/or night. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel is a Vitamin B5 gel that also contains Pineapple Ceramide to help boost luminosity and Watermelon Rind/Apple/Lentil Complex to provide long-lasting moisture. It can be used on its own or mixed with serum, cream or oil for a boost of hydration. I use it as my morning serum before applying a moisturiser or I’d mix a drop of it with my cream in the evening and I love how quickly it absorbs, there’s nothing left on the skin, no residue, no sticky feeling but at the same time, my skin is radiant and hydrated. In the past few weeks, I’ve been moisturising my face with Lala Retro Whipped Cream that contains a blend of six African oils to lock in the moisture. I use it at night or on days when I’m not wearing makeup because it takes a bit longer to absorb but luckily, doesn’t leave me looking shiny. At first, it feels quite thick and I need the tiniest amount, I feel like this tiny 15 ml jar is going to last me about 3 months but then it goes on smoothly and doesn’t feel sticky or heavy. The texture is really nice on the skin and I’m happy that it doesn’t break me out, so far. I think it might be a bit too rich for me in the summer but it’s great in the Norwegian winter.

I’m looking forward to trying more from these two brands and I’m curious to know if you’ve had any experience with them.

Three Beauty Essentials for Me This Winter


I hope you’re having a lovely start to 2018!
In my first post of the year, I’d like to share with you a few products I’ve been using lately. They have instantly made a difference for me and especially now that I’m struggling with my skin condition, it means a lot. Although this winter is quite mild, so far, all of us need something more on top of our regular routine in the colder months. So, here there are, three products that have had positive effects on me this winter.

My dear friend from Finland recently (as you can see by the small amount I’ve used up) got me the Lumene Glow Refresh Hydrating Mist which contains Vitamin C. My complexion gets quite dull in the winter and I always need something brightening. Since I started using Differin, I’m a bit more careful with the acids and I don’t use them at night anymore which is, in fact, the time when I prefer to use them. Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid have been great for restoring the radiance and moisture lately. Like I mentioned in my Winter Skincare Update, I’ve been also using the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum and Vitamin C is becoming a must for me, especially in the winter.
The Lumene Facial Mist is part of the brand’s Valo range and valo means light in Finnish which is a really appropriate name for the entire line because the products in it contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Carotenoids (precursor of Vitamin A), omega fatty acids and antioxidants. They aim to boost skin’s natural radiance and the added Arctic spring water helps keeping the luminosity and hydration. The facial mist is 96% naturally derived, comes in a beautiful bottle and seems perfect for travelling. The mist is quite fine and I use it before my moisturiser and throughout the whole day no matter if I’m with or without makeup on. Once more, I’d like to remind you not to use face mists if you’re outside in the cold, as low temperatures would damage damp/wet skin even more. After using the face mist, my skin is instantly refreshed and replenished, it looks glowy but not greasy and I love the scent, as well. I actually need to try more products from the brand.

Not sure why I didn’t feature Lush Sleepy in my December favourites, considering how much I love this body moisturiser. Last time when I was in Milan, I went to a Lush store there and I wasn’t really looking for another body lotion but the girl who worked there, came to me and started applying Sleepy on my hands. The scent of it was so divine that I picked up a tub of it straight away. I can’t describe how it smells, it has Almond Oil, Lavender Water, Jojoba Oil, Cocoa Butter and Tonka Absolute and I’m pretty sure the latter makes the scent not so lavender-y but a bit sweet and simply divine. They also gave me samples of the Twilight Shower Gel which has the same fragrance and makes the whole bathroom smell amazing. I think even people who don’t usually tolerate lavender scents, would like this one. I use the lotion on my hands and body before going to bed, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue, it makes my skin really soft and I’m quite relaxed after I apply it. A real evening time gem.

After styling my hair and before going out somewhere, I always like applying a few drops of oil to bring back the shine to my locks. Unfortunately, I’m not always good at controlling the amount I use and especially if I’m in a rush, I may end up with sticky and a bit greasy-looking hair. That is very unpleasant and looks quite bad, as well. So, I repurchased the Lernberger & Stafsing Gloss Spray and I remembered how much I liked it a couple of years ago. It’s formulated with organic Argan Oil and gives the hair UV-protection and a beautiful shine. It also controls the frizz and the fine mist isn’t heavy or too oily, it’s very easy to use and it’s practically impossible to overdo it. I’m very happy with this product at the moment and I’m curious to know if you have a favourite that is similar, as I’m always looking for alternatives.

These are three of my winter essentials this year, they are not so popular but I think they’re lovely and they deserve a bit of attention. What are your winter saviours?

December Favourites


Hope you’ve had amazing holidays, filled with peace and love! A couple of days after Christmas and a few days before we welcome the new year, here’s a list of beauty bits I’ve been loving in the month of December.

I recently did an updated winter skincare post and I mentioned that I’m trying to use less products and to make my routines a bit more simple. Unfortunately, I can’t use acids in the evening at the moment and I’ve been trying to find something milder that I can use in the morning. One of these products has been Pixi Peel & Polish and I have to say, like with many Pixi products, you need to use it a few weeks or months to see results. I haven’t noticed major difference in my skin but as it’s been already half a year with my skin problems, I can tell when something’s working and this product definitely is, at least for me. It contains Lactic Acid and fruit enzymes, ingredients that always help me when I’m trying to improve the condition of my skin. My face feels smoother and softer and the skin tone looks more even and healthy. The downside for me is the scent and the small particles that are supposed to give extra exfoliation.

My lips got really dry in the past few weeks, I came back to Norway and I guess, I’m still getting used to the winter here. One night I decided to try a drugstore lip balm that many girls have been raving about. It’s by Himalaya and it’s their Cocoa Butter Lip Balm. I’ve tried a few products by the brand, there is one that I absolutely love and there are several that didn’t impress me, at all, so I didn’t know what to expect. The lip balm doesn’t contain petroleum, artificial colourants and preservatives and is rich in Cocoa Butter and Sal Butter to soothe and nourish the lips and to prevent them from drying. The balm feels slightly thicker than what I’ve been using lately, it creates a film on top of the lips but looks matte and smells quite nice. When I woke up the morning after using it for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised because my lips felt incredibly soft, as if I’d just exfoliated them with my favourite Dior Lip Scrub. Since then, I’ve been using it every day and I haven’t had dry or chapped lips for weeks now.

In the past 6 months, I’ve been trying to give my skin and hair a break and to use only what I need to  use or what I (or a specialist) think could help me at a certain moment. So, the hair products I’ve been using are just a few but I’m noticing visible results with them. Like with this Kérastase L’incroyable Blowdry Crème* that protects and helps with styling the hair, as well. After I cut my hair much shorter, I started styling it a lot more than before. I like washing my hair late in the evening and I always use a hair dryer, so I apply the cream on damp hair, then I dry my hair and on the next morning I just quickly straighten it or add a few waves here and there. The good thing with this cream is that I don’t need to apply it again to get the heat protecting properties on the next day. I’m really happy that even now, when I’m styling my hair so often, I can still have shiny and healthy ends. The brand also has a lighter, lotion version in case you have fine hair.

Winter is the best time to talk about foot creams, isn’t it? Considering how much drier our face gets in the colder months, it’s only fair that the same would happen to our body and especially, to the feet. Honestly, I’m not the biggest lover of foot creams because they often feel heavy and greasy but I’m still trying to use them every night or every other night. Luckily, a few weeks ago, I remembered how much I liked Heel Genius from Soap & Glory and got a new mini of it. It’s a rich cream but the consistency is gel-like and not thick at all, it also has a really light scent, it’s not too minty or overpowering. The cream feels really refreshing once it’s applied and it’s very moisturising without leaving a greasy residue. I probably should have taken the full size but this one has lasted me a pretty long time and it’s very affordable, too.

And now we are making a fast turn to something very luxurious. But there’s a short story first. Back in November when me and my boyfriend went to Milan to celebrate his birthday, we visited a department store where they had a Jo Malone counter and I tried about 6-7 of their scents, there were a couple new for me but it was so chaotic in the store that I didn’t get the chance to remember their names. When we got back to the hotel, I could still feel one of them and I really loved it. Sadly, if I want to purchase something from Jo Malone in Norway, I have to travel to Oslo or to order it online which means I need to know the name of the scent. And because I didn’t know it, I just decided to wait for another day near a Jo Malone counter, so that I can smell it again. Fast forward to about 10 days ago when my boyfriend gave me a beautiful set of Jo Malone colognes for my birthday (there’s another story about how impossible it was for him to find it and you can read part of it under this Instagram photo) and I was really surprised to see the one I fell in love with among the others. Jo Malone English Oak & Redcurrant Cologne is actually one of the two new scents that the brand released this year and the contrast between the fruity and the woody notes is simply divine. At first it feels warmer and earthy, then the heart notes of rose make it really feminine and elegant but the rose isn’t that detectable. It’s also more woody than fruity. For me, it is a very cosy autumn/winter scent, it’s like dew over the autumn leaves at dawn, like damp branches of our big walnut tree…like home… I love this fragrance and I’m happy we met again. I tried pairing it with some of the other Jo Malone colognes and it’s always surprising but at the moment, I’m just enjoying it on its own.

I’m preparing a post with my 2017 beauty favourites that seem to be much less than the last year’s ones which is showing how much I’ve narrowed down the items I’ve been using. I hope you’ve had beautiful Christmas holidays with your loved ones and you’re looking forward to welcoming the new year.

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The Lovely Little Bits

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