The Moisturiser I Always Go Back To

Some of my favourite day and night creams are from Clinique, I have a favourite for each season but there is one I always go back to no matter what the temperatures outside are. This is my third or fourth pot of the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief and I just realised I’ve never done a review on it.

I love the whole Moisture Surge range and I can’t wait to try the new Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate which would probably be perfect to use on a summer holiday.
When seasons change, my skin’s needs change, as well and it can be a bit difficult, considering I’m dealing with combination dehydrated skin that occasionally gets blemishes. At the beginning of the spring, I decided to start using very light moisturisers which were lovely but the level of moisture they provided just wasn’t enough for me. Then I remembered that I’d purchased a new pot of Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief a few months back, so it was time to start using it again.

The texture is of a cream-gel and as with all Clinique moisturisers, I need just a tiny bit to cover my whole face. It doesn’t feel heavy and absorbs quickly although it makes my skin look a bit more dewy than I’d prefer but once I apply my foundation, it somehow sits better than usual and I even think my makeup lasts a bit longer when I use this moisturiser as a base. It feels very nourishing and in a matter of days, the dry patches around my face are gone.
I also use the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief as a multipurpose moisturiser when I travel. The little 30 ml pot is really handy to have in the bag and apply the cream on any dry areas that may appear while travelling.

Just like all Clinique products, this one is fragrance-free and I love that it doesn’t break me out which sometimes happens with more hydrating creams. My skin feels soft and smooth after using the moisturiser, it also looks radiant and fresh and I can use this cream in so many ways – as a multipurpose moisturiser, as a 5-minute mask to just bring back the glow, on top of my regular moisturiser for a boost of hydration in the winter… Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief feels soothing and refreshing and I seem to always go back to it.

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ColourPop Lip Bundle Phase 2

Thanks to a dear friend of mine, I finally got the chance to try some ColourPop products. It was quite interesting for me to see their lip products, considering they are some of the brand’s most popular items.

They’ve released several lip bundles for spring 2017 and in this Phase 2 – Lip Bundle we have three different finishes, all in the pink range of colours. I have fair skin but when I saw the swatches on the website, I realised the shades look much brighter on me than what was shown there, so have that in mind.

Curtsy is the Ultra Glossy Lip in this collection. The formula is creamy and comfortable to wear, it is not sticky and makes the lips look smooth and full. I was surprised by the colour because it’s a very bright pink on me (neon pink even) and it looks more like a soft pink in the packaging. Also, if you expect a lip gloss-like pigmentation, then you’d be amazed by how opaque for a glossy lip this one is.

Before moving forward, I’d like to say that I really really don’t like liquid lipsticks, I don’t like how they look, I don’t like how they feel and I do my best to stay away from them. However, I love trying different products and I think it’s great how we’d never get something for ourselves but we find it interesting when someone else thinks we’d love trying it. Does it make sense?
The Ultra Matte Lip is in the shade Fresh Cut and it is described as a true blue pink but on me it is a dark mauve. It’s a very deep shade and it’s my favourite of all three, I think it would be a great lipstick for the autumn and winter. It’s a bit streaky when you first apply it, so I need to layer it but it doesn’t start crumbling like many liquid lipsticks do. It’s pretty long-wearing, I like that my lips don’t feel tight or painful but the lipstick is drying and I wasn’t surprised by this, it’s a liquid lipstick, after all.

Chandelier is the Ultra Satin Lip shade and it’s described as a true salmon pink but it’s straight up bright coral on me. I’m not sure why they call it a satin lipstick because the finish is exactly the same as the liquid lipstick one but it feels a bit more moisturising. Although it is too bright for me, it’s a fantastic shade for the summer.

All three lip shades look a lot more neutral and nude than they are which doesn’t mean the colours are not pretty, they are beautiful. I just wanted to give you a heads up because I saw many people saying how they thought this was a nude collection or how the shades didn’t suit them.
I’m extremely grateful for the possibility to finally try something from ColourPop and I’m excited for products like the Lippie Stix, Lippie Pencils or the highlighters. I’m already in love with an eyeshadow from them and I’m not even an eyeshadow girl.

May Favourites

I feel like May has been surprising us with all the seasons changing in just a few hours. It’s been quite hot but the following day would feel like winter, then we’ve had rain pouring down and suddenly sunshine again. This is really challenging for our bodies and for our skin, as well.

Soon I’ll be doing a full review on Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate but I think I need at least another month to form a detailed opinion. However, I wanted to mention how much I like using it along with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray at night. My combination skin tends to get a bit dehydrated especially when it faces such big temperature differences like in the past few weeks. I had some dry patches appearing and although I moisturise my face and apply hydrating masks a couple of times a week, nothing seemed to help. Then I started using La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray after cleansing my skin in the evening and while the face is still damp, I’d apply a few drops of the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. What this simple addition does is soothing and moisturising the skin while the oil locks in the moisture, spreads more evenly and makes my skin incredibly soft. It’s also much calmer, more glowy, redness is less and dry patches are gone.

I needed a new concealer a few weeks ago and I remembered how much I wanted to try some of the Bourjois ones but never got the chance to be near their counters. So, when I finally saw one, I picked up two of their concealers and straight away fell in love with their Radiance Reveal Concealer. Unfortunately, the shade range is quite limited but the product itself is amazing, I use it under my eyes, I suffer with really dark circles and I’d still use a corrector underneath but this concealer has a pretty good coverage. It’s also really brightening, it’s easy to apply because of the creamy texture, you don’t need a lot of product because it’s very pigmented and a little goes a long way. My biggest surprise was the lasting power, it stays on the whole day on me, it doesn’t crease and has a slight blurring effect. I like that it’s not drying because I always set my concealers with powder and if they’re drying, it gets pretty bad. I’m really happy I finally got to try this concealer, it’s a fantastic one.

There are two lipsticks I’ve been wearing non-stop in the past couple of months, I didn’t mention them in my April favourites post and I really wanted to do it now because they feel great on the lips, their creamy formula is hydrating and the shade range is beautiful. I’m talking about the natural lipsticks from Burt’s Bees in the shades 501 Blush Basin* and 530 Lily Lake(full review here). Best thing for those of you in Norway is that they’re finally available on the market and I can’t wait to see the rest of the colours once I go back there.

My fragrance of choice in the month of May has been Shiseido Ever Bloom EDT (review here). It’s powdery and floral which is totally not me but somehow this scent makes me love it. Probably because of its fresh and clean notes that turn the whole combination into something elegant yet youthful and really nice for spring.

These are my most-loved beauty items for the last few weeks. Now it’s time to get ready for summer!

*PR Samples

Empties #13

It’s time for a new portion of empty products…
Skincare and Makeup Products

Rituals Mild Eye Makeup Remover – That is a gentle makeup remover that effectively takes off mascara and eye makeup without irritating my eyes and I’d repurchase it;
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water – One of my favourite micellar waters, it’s mild, it’s good at removing the major part of my makeup and is suitable for sensitive skin, as well;
Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – I already have a full size of this one because it’s a fantastic face wash that cleanses my skin but also leaves it hydrated;
Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Toner – That’s a brilliant toner that contains 2% Lactic Acid, I really need to get a new one because it’s great for combination skin. It’s oil-free but hydrating and exfolaiting at the same time;
Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray – I always carry a mini of this one when I travel because it’s refreshing and hydrating, especially in the summer;
Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum – My favourite budget moisturising serum, so lightweight yet delivers a good amount of hydration to the skin;
Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturiser – The whole Ibuki range is simply amazing, I wouldn’t say this is my favourite moisturiser but it’s lovely;
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturiser SPF 15 – Another really nice face cream that also has SPF but it’s so pricey that I don’t think I’d repurchase, considering there are so many amazing moisturisers out there;
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel – This is a gel that really gives visible results but then again, it is too expensive and I had issues with the pump;
EOS Pomegranate Raspberry Lip Balm – I don’t find these balms to be the most moisturising ones but I enjoy using them;
L’Occitane x Pierre Hermé Paris Miel Mandarine Lip Balm – What an amazing scent, not too sweet or overpowering, simply divine, also, I love the brand’s lip balms;
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant – I used this product almost every day on its own or before foundation, it’s brilliant because you get the skincare treatment but also tinted cream with pretty good coverage, will definitely repurchase;
Essence Camouflage Cream Concealer – There’s just a little bit left but it’s already dry, I think it was a beautiful affordable concealer duo that I used under my eyes and around the face and I didn’t need another concealer when I was travelling, this one was enough. Sadly, I think, they no longer have it on the shelves;
Bourjois Healthy Balance Face Powder – I don’t remember how many of these I’ve used up, it’s one of my favourite powders that mattifies the skin but still leaves it looking radiant;
Dior Addict Milky Tint in 286 Milky Plum – Glosses aren’t my favourite lip products but using up one means I loved it. This gloss is actually quite unique, it’s has a milky finish that looks creamy and not too shiny and all the shades are really flattering. Plus, they feel hydrating and plumping. I have a full review on them here.


Body and Hair Products

Original Source Green Banana and Bamboo Milk Shower MilkOriginal Source have some wonderful body washes, their scents are always interesting and I really enjoyed using this shower milk;
L’Occitane Aromachologie Relaxing Shower Gel – I need a bigger size of this one, it’s so lovely, the scent is so relaxing and 100% natural. The body wash is made with essential oils and feels incredibly soothing;
Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion – For some reason Clarins body products and their scents always remind me of comfy hotel beds after a long day of walking around lesser known places, is that strange? Probably but what I mean is that this lotion gives me some kind of comfort and it’s soothing, it feels really hydrating and I sometimes used it as a hand cream, as well;
Moroccanoil Treatment – This cute mini is perfect for travelling, luckily, I have a couple more because I really like this oil, it’s lightweight, smells divine and makes my hair shiny;
Lilly Oil-Based Nail Polish Remover – The best nail polish remover, nourishing, takes off nail polish easily and the only negative is that you can’t find it in many countries.

Sachets

Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner – I’ve heard so many positive reviews on Kiehl’s toners that I feel like I want to try all of them but unfortunately, this one stings and burns my skin and makes it look red. It feels really soft after that, though but I don’t think it’s my type of toner. However, I’ll be trying out more;
Balea Aqua Sheet Mask and Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask – I already shared with you how much I love these sheet masks in my Budget Skincare Stars post;
Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar – It has a nice subtle scent and feels hydrating but I think it broke me out which is a shame because I really liked the texture and the feel of the cream;
Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser – Being a huge fan of Clinique moisturisers and the Pep-Start eye cream, I had high hopes for this one and even meant to get the full size straight away. Luckily, I got this sample first because to me, it feels like a silicone primer, doesn’t give me much hydration and I find it pretty hard to apply it evenly.

These are my recent beauty empties and I see that I really miss some of the products already.

Budget Skincare Stars

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you some of my favourite affordable makeup products, you can see the blog post here. Then I thought it might be nice to talk about a few lovely budget skincare items. We all love to invest in face care but that doesn’t mean that drugstores don’t offer some beautiful choices.

Last year, Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Water finally came to Norway and it immediately turned into my favourite affordable cleansing water. It’s very gentle yet effective in removing makeup, feels refreshing, soothing and non-sticky. I always wash my face after removing makeup with micellar water but I like that this one contains Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) because it’s anti-inflammatory, improves the appearance of enlarged pores, works against dullness of the skin, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and redness.

The past couple of years have been quite successful when it comes to finding really good hydrating serums at the drugstore. However, my favourite one must be the Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum. It is a brilliant facial serum that contains hydrating and soothing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E and leaves my skin moisturised without feeling sticky or greasy. The texture of the serum is quite light and runny but the bottle comes with a pump that is comfortable to use and also hygienic. It takes a few seconds to fully absorb but there is no residue left and my skin feels refreshed and soothed. I’ve already used up 3-4 bottles of it and I’ll keep repurchasing the serum. I have to say, I don’t think it would be enough if you have really dry skin but for me, it’s working very well. I also love the fresh scent.

Applying a facial oil is one of my favourite steps in my evening skincare routine, so when I learned about the Alverde Wild Rose Facial Oil more than a year ago from my mum who loves it, I got one for myself and I’ve already used up almost 3 bottles of it. It’s meant to be suitable for dry skin but I have to say, this oil never broke me out or made my skin greasy. It doesn’t feel heavy, it’s quite light and I’d still apply a night cream on top. The oil has a lovely subtle rose scent, it’s vegan and contains ingredients from certified organic agriculture like Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Peach Kernel Oil and Apple Seed Extract. The brand is also known for the fact that their products are free from silicones, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances and dyes.

Sheet masks are really popular at the moment but they can be very pricey. I was pleased to find a beautiful hydrating mask and also a purifying one that won’t break the bank. They both come from Balea, the moisturising one is from the same range as the face serum. First of all, I have to say that Balea sheet masks seem to be a bit smaller than the rest of the masks I’ve tried but they are somehow the only ones that manage to cover my huge nose. Balea Aqua Hydrating Sheet Mask contains Algae Extract, Almond Oil and Rosehip Oil, feels like a moisturising gel, it’s cooling and soothing. The mask doesn’t move around the face once it’s on and it’s quite comfortable to wear. I like using it when my skin is a bit dry and dehydrated, the first time I tried it, I was surprised how radiant and nourished my skin was on the following day, thanks to such an affordable sheet mask.

Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask is part of one of the newest ranges of the brand and I might need to find the rest of the products, too. The mask contains Salicylic Acid and Zinc which is great if you have blemish-prone and oily skin. It does heal spots quicker than usual and it doesn’t make my skin feeling dry or stripped. I really really like this sheet mask.

As a person with combination skin, I love using clay masks a couple of times a week. When the L’Oréal Pure-Clay Masks were released last year, I’ve been a fan of all three, now they’ve expanded the range adding more skincare products which I can’t wait to try. Here I’m showing only one of the face masks but you can read my review on all three here, in case you haven’t already. What I love about this Exfo Face Mask (Glow in the UK) is that it doubles up as an exfoliant, as well, it’s easy to wash off and makes my skin look smooth and glowy.

There are great drugstore options on the skincare shelves sometimes and I’d be really happy to know more about some of your finds.

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The Lovely Little Bits