Category Archives: Beauty

My 3-Step Skincare Routine | Summer 2018


Ever since my sunscreen drama happened in the summer of 2017, my makeup menu significantly reduced its size and my skin has been feeling much better. But when the summer season arrives, I’m now trying to go quite minimal on the skincare front, as well. I’ve never been one to do 11-step routines anyway but the dermatologist that has been helping me the most suggested that I skipped moisturiser in the warmer days and just opt for a hydrating sunscreen. As for the evenings, a lightweight serum or cream are still a must because I need something nourishing after applying my retinoid.
In this post I wanted to share the base of my routine at the moment and I’d like to mention that I’m not featuring face masks that I usually do twice a week and my retinoid is still Differin for most of the time but I tend to use it only 3-4 times a week in the summer. Sometimes I’ll switch it up and use a different product but the main idea is still the same.
My morning rituals start with a cleanse and continue with a serum and a sunscreen while in the evening after cleansing, I’ll apply an acid toner (only if I’m not using retinoid that day) and then finish off with something moisturising.

Morning routine

Cleanse: I’ve been using the COSRX Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser in the past few weeks and although I think it’s a bit too early to give my final thoughts on it, my first impressions are quite positive. One of the most important things in a cleanser for me is to be soap-free and that was the main reason why I picked this one up. It has a gel texture which is my favourite for a morning cleanse and feels really refreshing and purifying but doesn’t leave my skin dry or stripped. Before using it, I thought it would be good just in the summer but it’s so mild and gentle that I see myself reaching for it in the winter, as well. I think packaging could be improved and if you don’t like the smell of tea tree oil, this one would really irritate you but so far, I like the soft and clean feel of the cleanser.

Serum: When I first visited my current dermatologist and shared with her my routine, she replied: “You really know your ingredients, don’t you?”. I love skincare, I read a lot and one of the best ingredients I’ve come across must be niacinamide. Years ago, I’d been using it even without knowing it was part of my favourite products. Niacinamide improves the appearance of enlarged pores, fine lines, uneven skin tone and dullness but it also helps the skin barrier function and reduces the damage that the environment around us can cause. Garden of Wisdom Niacinamide Serum is a product I got a few weeks ago and it’s probably my favourite affordable option I’ve tried. I can’t wait to pick up some more items from the brand’s range because I can see how this serum helps regulate the oil production and my complexion has been looking brighter since I started using it.

Sunscreen: That’s the hardest one to find. I’ve made so many mistakes with sunscreens, they’ve done a lot of damage to my skin mainly by clogging my pores and I still think there isn’t a really sophisticated sunscreen that can also give you the best protection possible. At least that’s the case with combination/oily and blemish-prone skin. You always have to sacrifice something when it comes to sun protection. But let this not be the health of our skin. That’s why I prefer to look a bit shiny  but to still be protected from the sun. Luckily, the Heliocare Color Gelcream SPF 50 doesn’t look that shiny and feels incredibly lightweight. I love this tinted SPF and I’ve been reaching for it almost every day since I got it. I’ve also featured it in my July Favourites post and if I’m using a clear sunscreen, I’d probably go for something like the Kiss My Face SPF 30 Sensitive Side (part of my June Favourites) which takes a bit longer to absorb and looks a lot more dewy on my combination skin but it doesn’t break me out.

Evening routine

Last summer I was not allowed to use micellar water as it can aggravate the skin problems sometimes but as it’s all gone now, it’s back on my shelf. I just like taking off the majority of my makeup and sunscreen before cleansing because smearing all the dirt, mascara and foundation with cleansing balm/oil all over my face is something that truly disgusts me. After removing the top layer, I can calmly proceed towards the proper cleansing.

Cleanse: I start by soaking two cotton pads with the Simple Micellar Water, I just find it to be one of the most gentle ones out there. I’ve been really liking the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm lately, it’s the first cleansing balm that doesn’t break me out and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. It’s such a nice cleanser that removes impurities and it’s easy to wash off with a hot cloth but also hydrates the skin and doesn’t irritate it. The balm contains Sunflower Oil and Ginger Root Oil to cleanse and nourish the skin, Moringa tree extract to purify, Papaya Extract which is a natural exfoliator and a blend of Lime, Bergamot and Orange essential oils. Yes, essential oils… essential oils were the ingredients that made me feel unsure whether I wanted to try this balm or not. I’m not a fan of essential oils in skincare, they break me out and irritate my skin. Like I said, this cleansing balm doesn’t break me out but if you’re with sensitive, acne-prone skin, I’d suggest getting a sample before committing to the full size.
Otherwise, it’s the most beautiful cleansing balm I’ve ever tried, it has a such a lovely texture and feel to it.
I’m curious to know if anyone can share a comparison between this cleansing balm and the Banila Co. one because the latter is next up on my wishlist.

Acid Toner: There’s no surprise here, I’ve been reaching for my old favourite Pixi Glow Tonic, it’s a great resurfacer, it gives a beautiful glow to the skin and keeps me blemish-free. I need to get the huge pump bottle!

Moisturiser: It’s a bit difficult to pick an evening moisturiser because I’ve been trying quite a few lately but one that I seem to always go back to is the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid. It’s another product with ingredient that I’m trying to avoid, this time alcohol but it makes such a difference to my skin. It makes it look so plump and healthy, it’s so soothing and nourishing without being heavy, I really love it. I use it on its own in the summer (I especially enjoy it on a day when I’m using Differin, it’s so calming when I apply it 30 minutes after the retinoid) but when it’s colder I use it as a serum. Ceramides protect skin from moisture loss and damage from pollution, they also have anti-ageing properties. I’ve tried the whole Ceramidin range from Dr. Jart+ and I think there’s a product for everyone in it, I’m lucky to have my skin getting along with all of the products but friends with oily skin prefer the liquid or the gel cream while my boyfriend’s dry skin asks for the cream.

I’m really pleased with my current minimal routine, I feel like I’m giving my skin what it needs without layering too many products while it’s still hydrated and plump.
Do you reduce the amount of products you use in the warmer days?

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July Favourites

The heat in the past few weeks has been requiring minimal to zero makeup, good cleansing, lightweight hydrating skincare and showering about three times a day. That’s basically why my monthly beauty favourites look like this.

Cleansing is very important to me, I love the refreshing feeling that wakes me up in the morning and relaxes me in the evening. I tend to reach for gel cleansers in the summer but I’ve been using a cream cleanser lately and it’s been lovely. I got the Skin Laundry Purifying Cream Cleanser in my Liberty advent calendar last year but I’ve been trying out so many cleansers that I never got to use this one until recently. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the full size, hope it hasn’t been discontinued but knowing my luck, it probably has. It’s a beautiful sulphate-free cleanser that feels soothing and hydrating while lifting away impurities. Most of the time, I’d use it at night but sometimes it’s also part of my morning skincare routine. I apply a small amount onto damp skin and then massage it in for about a minute, then I remove it with a hot washcloth. It contains Aloe Leaf Juice, Macadamia Seed Oil and Panthenol to give a calming feel to the skin. It’s a purifying cleanser but it’s also nourishing and that’s the main reason why I like it so much. It’s really easy to dry out the skin in the summer because we’re so focused on removing all the makeup, sweat and natural oils that we often pick the wrong cleanser. Actually, I’ve just started using a new morning gel cleanser and I’m having high hopes for it.

Lähde in Finnish means source and in the case of Lumene Lähde Purity Dew Drops Eye Gel means source of hydration. Essentially, it’s a beautiful cooling and moisturising eye gel that’s perfect for the summer days. Enriched with Provitamin B5, Nordic Birch Sap and Pure Arctic Spring Water the lightweight gel nourishes the delicate eye area while the fragrance-free formula with hydra-technology provides a continuous hydration throughout the day. I love that the texture is non-sticky and works as a good base underneath concealer. Looking forward to trying the rest of the minis from this new range that my gorgeous Finnish friend got for me.

For me, thermal water spray is an essential, I always have at least one miniature and one full size and I tend to go for the Avène Thermal Water Spray most of the time. It’s one of my most-used skincare items in the summer and the whole family loves it. I’ve been trying to find the Caudalie Grape Water for such a long time that when I saw it in a pharmacy in Valencia, I thought it was just the tester and there was nothing behind it. Luckily, I finally purchased it. I’ve tried ordering it online multiple times but either the customs considered it dangerous and it never got to me or it suddenly sold out seconds before putting it in my basket.  Caudalie Grape Water doesn’t contain thermal water, it uses grape water that is enriched with polysaccharides and mineral salts but the idea is similar. I have to say, it definitely feels more moisturising and somehow softer than the thermal water sprays. I’m really happy to have it, I use it as a toner or to refresh my skin in the hot days, I’d spray my boyfriend’s pale face if he’s been under the sun in the day and it’s just a good multi-tasker. It’s also great to add a few spritzes of the Grape Water before applying my rosehip oil, it spreads more evenly and feels glorious when I take out the bottle from the fridge, so cooling and soothing. I’m new to Caudalie and I can’t wait to try the travel set I got together with the Grape Water.

Foundation is rarely a part of my makeup menu nowadays but healthy and even complexion are still things I’m trying to achieve most of the days. I’ve always been struggling to find sunscreens that suit my skin type but a tinted sunscreen was even a territory I didn’t dare to cross, after a few absolutely terrible experiences, I’d given up on the idea. When I got the Heliocare Color Gelcream SPF 50 in Light last month, I mainly did it because it was Spanish and I hadn’t tried any pharmacy brands from Spain. I expected it to be a not so good colour match and probably too thick for my combination skin. And was I wrong… First of all, the texture is so lightweight that I would never think it’s SPF 50! Second of all, it doesn’t feel greasy but keeps the skin hydrated. It has a slightly dewy finish but it isn’t too shiny and there’s a delicate melon scent that’s not overpowering. It’s easy to apply and provides good coverage that gives a healthy look. Heliocare‘s range consists of sunscreens that combine high technology mineral and non-mineral filters with photobiological protectants, featuring Fernblock which is a natural fern extract. Fern has adapted and evolved to protect itself from the harmful UVA and UVB radiation. The extract provides anti-oxidant effects and UV protection. The formula is also enriched with Panthenol and Vitamin E to moisturise and soothe skin.
Unfortunately, it comes in just two shades, Light and Brown.
For me, this is a very elegant tinted sunscreen, I haven’t found anything like it, it doesn’t break me out and doesn’t turn me into a shiny mess. I’m really curious about more of the brand’s products but sadly, they’re not widely available. If I ever get the chance to see a Heliocare counter again, I will definitely check out the rest of the range.

My last favourite for the month of July is actually my boyfriend’s shower gel. Molton Brown Russian Leather is heady and intense. It’s the type of scent I like to have as a candle. They actually have a candle but I’ve heard the shower gel is the best product from the range. The fragrance is an infusion of Siberian pine, tobacco, birch, black tea, purple basil and leather. I love the way the bathroom smells after my boyfriend takes a shower, it also lingers on the skin for hours. I sometimes borrow it when I want something different from my floral and fruity body washes.

Now time to spray my face with the grape water again and let’s not forget to drink a lot of water today. Stay hydrated!

Valencia Beauty Haul | Sephora, Pharmacy, Online Purchases

Before heading to Valencia, I didn’t think of getting any beauty products there, it didn’t cross my mind, at all. I was just dreaming of long walks in the sun, enjoying the palm trees, the flowers and the oranges that you can see everywhere in the city.

But then I passed by Sephora… and went inside. I was thinking that I hadn’t ordered any beauty items since March, so I just wanted to take a look. I usually order from the US Sephora but shipping and taxes are insane and many brands can’t be shipped out to Europe, so I’m always happy to see brands that are available mainly (if not only) in the US.

I’m turning into a big Farmacy fan, I’ve tried a few of their products and I was really hoping to see their sunscreen in Spain but unfortunately, they said you can’t find it in Europe, at all. So, I picked up their Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, hoping that it would be the first cleansing balm that I’d like. Somehow cleansing balms always break me out, feel heavy and leave a residue. So far, I’ve found only a couple of cleansing oils that perform well on my skin which makes me think that balms and oils just aren’t for me and I really want this one to prove me wrong.
After stocking up on the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid a couple of months ago, now we got the Cream in full size. My boyfriend and I have mini version of the whole range and we both love the cream and the liquid, so we decided to get the original size. I was really surprised, considering my boyfriend’s dry skin and my combination type but it’s nice that one product can be good on several skin types. It’s a really hydrating moisturiser, it helps skin’s natural barrier properties and gives a plump look to it. Then I picked up two sheet masks because I wanted to try a few more from TONYMOLY, as I really liked their Tomato one. Actually, I don’t use sheet masks that often but the two that I got were the Seaweed one that should be purifying and the Orange Sheet Mask that is supposed  to be brightening and refreshing.
I have to say, the section with the minis is the part I’m mostly excited about whenever I’m in Sephora, I just can’t help it, I’m always curious to see all the travel size products. From the display there, I picked up another Beautyblender. I don’t use foundation that often nowadays but I like to have a backup of this makeup sponge, it’s the best tool for base application that I’ve found.
When I saw the mini of the Phyto Phytoelixir Intense Nutrition Mask, I had to have it. I was looking for a treatment for my ends and this mini seemed great to try and see how it works. I’ve used it only once, so far but I really like it. It’s rich but doesn’t weigh down the hair and doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. It also has a beautiful scent and gives shine to the hair. I think they had a mini of the oil from the same range, as well and now I regret not picking that one up, too.
I think I screamed a little bit when I saw the Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50! I’ve always been curious about the brand’s sunscreens but they were impossible to get in Europe. The only product that they had in Valencia was this mini but it was enough for me to get excited, I haven’t tried it yet but I’ll be soon sharing thoughts on it for sure.

In the near of Sephora they had this amazing pharmacy filled with all types of brands, some of them were Spanish ones and I feel bad for not reading a bit more beforehand because now I regret not purchasing some of their products. Hopefully next time! At least I got the Heliocare Color Gelcream SPF 50 in Light and I couldn’t be happier. I know that I’ve used it only a couple of times but I think I might have found my new favourite tinted sunscreen. It doesn’t break me out and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, it leaves a bit of a dewy finish but nothing too shiny or greasy. It has a slight tint to it that actually gives pretty good coverage without being thick or masking. The technology that Heliocare are using works against premature ageing, cellular damage, hyperpigmentation and weakening the skin’s natural barrier function. I can’t wait to start wearing it on a regular basis and I already want to try to find a backup.
I couldn’t miss getting a giant 300 ml bottle of the Avène thermal water spray, I always have a few at home and a mini in my bag, especially in the summer.
A few months ago I tried to order the Caudalie Grape Water because I’ve been curious about the brand for so long but somehow I never got the chance to try it. Unfortunately, the customs considered the package dangerous and it never got to me, so I finally picked up a bottle of it. However, the display at the pharmacy was so pretty that I wanted to get something else from Caudalie but I wasn’t sure what. Then I noticed this travel set that contains Micellar Cleansing Water, Premier Cry Eye Cream, Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet, Hand & Nail Cream and Lip Conditioner, a beautiful little selection.

When I came back home I noticed one of my orders had arrived. I purchased three products that everyone talks about, so I wanted to see for myself if they’re really that good. COSRX have a great range of skincare, I use some of their products and I really like them, so I decided to try their Low pH Morning Gel Cleanser and the AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid. I’ve heard so many positive reviews on them that I can’t wait to put them to the test.
It’s been years since I first started trying to get my hands on the Bioré Aqua Rich Water Essence SPF 50+ and I always failed. This is probably my most desired sunscreen, I’ve always wanted to know why it is so special and I hope I’m soon going to find out. The only concern for me is that many say it’s too drying but I just hope my skin would like this sunscreen. I might need to get some of the Missha ones next because I feel like I’m on a mission to find the most lightweight, non-greasy but still effective sunscreen that doesn’t clog pores. It’s actually really difficult and whenever it comes to spf products, I envy my mum and my boyfriend with their dry skin and how much they enjoy applying sun creams, looking like they’ve just washed their faces, clean and pure while I’m just shiny and my pores get clogged.

I’m quite pleased with myself this time, I’d normally behave like a child in a candy store but I feel like my beauty shopping this time was not so out of control, I got products that I really need or I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. Now to the fun part, trying them all out… one by one, of course.

June Favourites

The end of June has been so amazing that I really don’t want to go back to reality. Me and my boyfriend had a lovely sunny week in Spain and we’re now on a mini road trip in order to keep that holiday feeling for as long as we can.

I’ve been keeping my beauty routine quite minimal lately. Even before we went away, I just didn’t feel like using that many skincare and makeup products on my face and then, when the temperatures hit 38 degrees in the sun for a couple of days, I knew that it would have been a mistake to pile on multiple layers of moisturisers, foundation, highlighter…
In the morning, I’d just apply sunscreen, a bit of mascara and a lip product and then reapply SPF quite a few times during the day. I’ve had bad experience with wearing makeup (it wasn’t even that much) in hot summer days, so I set aside all the base products. As a matter of fact, unpleasant events have occurred, thanks to sunscreens that were not right for my skin, as well, so it was a real test for my skin condition. Lately, I’ve been relying on the Kiss My Face Sensitive Side 3 in 1 Sunscreen SPF 30 and I have to say, it is a bit shiny but doesn’t feel heavy and what’s most important, doesn’t clog my pores. The formula is paraben- and fragrance-free and it doesn’t contain Oxybenzone. It feels hydrating and soothing, so I tend to use it on its own and don’t actually apply a moisturiser beforehand. It takes a bit of time to rub it in because at first, it’s very white but then it melts into the skin and leaves a dewy finish. I’m really happy that it doesn’t break me out, I sometimes use it on my arms, as well and although, it’s still not perfect (I haven’t found the perfect face sunscreen yet!), it’s one of the best I’ve tried, so far.
And while we’re on the SPF topic, I wanted to mention that it’s quite complicated to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, I can’t see myself slapping cream without washing my face first but at the same time, I want my skin to be protected. Although we don’t sunbathe and just need product for the city environment, I was worried about my boyfriend’s skin because he burns quite easily. At the end of our trip, he had a small red patch on his forehead because apparently, I didn’t reapply the sunscreen that well but the rest of his face, neck and arms looked good. I was a bit unsure when he brought home the Garnier Sensitive Face Mist SPF 50 before we started packing. I wanted to get the La Roche-Posay mattifying mist but it was sold out everywhere. I thought the Garnier mist would break me out and would feel unpleasant. In fact, the mist is really fine and feels light on the skin. This product is part of a range, created for people with very fair, sun-intolerant and sensitive skin. I like the cooling feeling when you spray it on and the fact that it doesn’t leave greasy residue. I’m now convinced that it’s a lovely budget option for both, people with dry and combination skin, me and my boyfriend love it and we now have a second bottle of it.

I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews on the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask but somehow the brand doesn’t ship outside the US or so it tells me every time I try to purchase something from them on any of the websites that stock Fresh. But a few weeks ago, Sephora released one of their Sephora Favorites sets and this mini was part of it. It allowed me to add the set to the basket and to proceed with my order (normally, I can never order a set that contains a product from a brand that doesn’t ship outside the US) and here it is. This is now my post-travel face mask because it instantly brightens and smooths out my complexion. It has a tingling and cooling feeling, a delicate fresh scent and it only needs a thin layer for a healthier-looking skin to be revealed. The mask has a whipped texture that melts into the skin and contains a complex of kombucha, black tea extract, blackberry leaf extract and lychee seed extract that work together against free radicals. The formula is also enriched with polysaccharides that help to smooth the skin. This face mask is a real treat for my skin and I’m glad I could get the mini of it.

Another impressive mini has been the Belif Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner which I also got in a set, as I’ve been curious about the brand for a long time, luckily, it is now available in Europe, too. I’m an acid toner user and sometimes I’d switch it up and apply a more hydrating one afterwards or I’d skip a day and instead of the acid one, I’d go for a lighter toner. Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner from Belif is formulated with bergamot and sage to balance normal to combination skin and to leave it feeling hydrated and soothed after cleansing. The brand has several types of toners, I happened to try this one and I really like it. I find its texture quite interesting, as it’s not so runny but it feels a bit like an essence or a serum, it’s like a very liquid gel, if that makes sense and I think that this unique texture makes it feel even more moisturising. It’s great on a hot day or evening, it’s refreshing and calming and that’s a second product from the brand that I fall in love with.

The lip product that I can’t stop wearing at the moment comes from Marimekko for Clinique and it’s the Pop Splash in 03 Sorbet Pop. I love Clinique skincare, I love their makeup range, as well and lip products are probably my favourite out of their colour line. They just seem to know how to do the formulation right. It’s always fragrance-free and non-irritating, it feels smooth, non-sticky and hydrating. And when you combine the perfect formula with the iconic, colourful patterns of Finnish design house Marimekko, you get a limited edition collection that makes it hard for you to choose what to pick, they just all look so beautiful. I’m a big fan of the Clinique Pop family and I think the Pop Splash was the only member I was missing. It’s essentially a lip gloss but even those who don’t like lip glosses might actually love this one. I certainly do. My shade Sorbet Pop is quite opaque (there are some that are more sheer and there’s something for everyone, from nude tones to berries and reds) and it’s a warm shimmery caramel nude that doesn’t sit glittery on the lips. It just makes them look a bit more plump. I’m quite surprised that it stays longer on my lips than I thought a gloss would and the colour doesn’t fade away that quickly. The best part is that it feels moisturising, thanks to the watermelon, lentil and apple fruit extracts. For me, that’s the best summer lip product and the packaging is stunning, as well, retro and modern at the same time.

A mix of travel-friendly and sun protection products, these are my beauty favourites for the month of June. What have you been loving in the past few weeks?

 

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.