Category Archives: This Season

Switching Up My Skincare Wardrobe | Fall 2018


There have been a lot of rainy and gloomy days lately and while I’m enjoying the colourful streets and mountains around, I’m reaching for more and more cosy and warm clothes. And because each season we switch up our wardrobe, so that it’s appropriate for the changes in weather, why not update our skincare regimen, as well? Our skin needs a suitable care during each part of the year just like we need a soft jumper to feel warmer and more comfortable at the moment.

I’ve mentioned before that I like simple cleansers that take away the impurities but also feel gentle on the skin. In the warmer months, I prefer to use cleansing gels and in the autumn/winter I tend to reach for something a bit more hydrating. That being said, my new favourite, CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is described by many as ‘gel’. For me, personally, it’s very difficult to define the texture of this cleanser but it feels like a runny lotion rather than a gel. It doesn’t foam up and doesn’t leave a residue but it feels purifying and nourishing at the same time. I’ve been using it for almost two months and I get the hype. It’s a mild cleanser that contains ceramides and ceramides hydrate the skin and reinforce its natural barrier function, it’s also fragrance- and soap-free which is very important for me.
This CeraVe Cleanser is great in the morning or as a second cleanse in the evening, I don’t think it’s good at  removing makeup and sunscreen, to be fair. I find that I need a separate product for that.
But I love the fresh and moisturising feeling after using the cleanser and I’m happy I got the biggest bottle I could find.

However, a cleanser that can     remove makeup and sunscreen is definitely Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser. I’ve just started using it after over 3 months of waiting for it to be available worldwide and I’ll be posting updates on my experience with it soon but I pretty much think it was love from first cleanse. Easy to use, no fragrance, no unnecessary ingredients, just a simple, effective and gentle formula. I’ve been watching Dr. Sam’s videos for a long time, if you love skincare and your skin, you should do the same, she gives advice on so many topics, her channel is incredibly helpful and I’m happy that she started her own line. I can’t wait to see what’s in the making as the cleanser is just the first step.
And to go back to it, I have to say, I don’t wear that much makeup, I probably use foundation once a week but I do apply sunscreen. And as we know, sunscreen is hard to wash off. But Flawless Cleanser gets off SPF and impurities without leaving the skin dried out (it’s not a foaming wash), without clogging the pores and leaving a residue. Basically, it’s everything you’d want from a cleanser to be and it’s suitable for blemish-prone and sensitive skin, as well.

Let’s talk about niacinamide. Niacinamide is a fantastic ingredient that not only has anti-blemish and anti-pigmentation benefits but it also helps boosting skin’s natural ceramide supply. So, it’s great for acne-prone skin and it’s even hydrating which makes it perfect for the colder months. I, personally, use products with niacinamide throughout the whole year, it’s one of my favourite ingredients and I just can’t be without it. Many people switch from using salicylic acid that can be a bit drying to niacinamide in autumn/winter, I use both all the time and my skin is happy that way but everyone’s different.
Two of my favourite products containing niacinamide at the moment are Garden of Wisdom Niacinamide Serum which is lightweight and helps regulate oil production while brightening the skin complexion and CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM. It has a gel-cream texture and I use it when my skin is in a serious need of hydration. I can’t say that I’ve used it long enough to give a full review but so far, it’s been a lovely addition to my evening skincare routine.

A skincare change-up that I do in the autumn is adding Vitamin C to my shelf. I didn’t use Vitamin C in the summer but I really need it in the colder weather when my skin tends to get a bit more dull. I chose this mini from Drunk Elephant, I’ve used C-Firma Day Serum before and I really like it. Essentially, it contains 15% Ascorbic Acid that is accompanied by antioxidants like Ferulic Acid, lightweight non-fragrant plant oils (the brand’s Marula Oil) and Hyaluronic Acid. I feel like this formula could be suitable for every skin type but if you’re very oily, you might need something lighter.
Vitamin C improves the appearance of uneven skin tone and the ability to strengthen skin’s barrier. The potent formula can also improve signs of ageing and discoloration and reduce inflammation.
I think it’s quite difficult to find the right Vitamin C product, there are so many on the market and honestly, prices are crazy. I’m still trying different ones and I can’t decide which one is my favourite, so I’d be happy if you share some of your most-loved ones with me.

Do you switch up your skincare routine in the autumn/winter and which are your favourite products and ingredients for this time of the year?

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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?

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?

Tackling Skin Issues | Winter Skincare Update


Even though winter hasn’t officially arrived yet, temperatures have significantly dropped and we often switch up our skincare routine. We tend to use more hydrating creams and oils, to reach for richer ones and to layer more and more products on top of each other. But this year, I’m aiming to reduce the number of products applied on my face, while still trying to protect it.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been dealing with clogged pores since July this year. My skin didn’t like the then new to me face suncare product and as a result, I got severely blocked pores. I had consultations with several dermatologists, all of them said that it looked quite unusual, especially considering “You can tell you’re really taking good care of your skin” but the situation didn’t change. A couple of months ago, I was suggested to go to another dermatologist who said I probably needed Differin Gel and warned me that everything would look worse in the following weeks. Indeed, it got terrible. It’s the first time I’m facing something like this and now I understand everyone who thinks of giving up at some point but patience is the key word here. Two months later, I’m definitely seeing a progress although I still have a long way to go in order to have my good skin back.
I’m writing this post as a person who wants to share their experience, I’m not a specialist and we all have individual problems. I don’t even have the absolute right solution for my own issues, yet alone to try giving advice to someone else. Unfortunately, nowadays, we tend to overload on skincare products, to strip our skin and dry it out too much or to pile on heavy moisturisers that aren’t exactly the right ones for us. We need to find a balance and we need to find out what’s best for our skin in the exact moment.

In the past couple of months, the skincare routine I’ve been following can be described as simple. It may not seem like this on the photos but these are products that are on rotation, I don’t use them all at once. I’m trying to wear less makeup and to do it only a couple of times a week, I reach for mild, sulphate-free cleansers and I don’t layer too many products.
I’ve been suggested to do my evening routine 30 minutes after cleansing and applying Differin, so that the rest of the products don’t interfere with the retinoid.

Cleansing
My cleanser of choice in the last month has been the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser. It’s both, my morning and evening cleanser, it’s my second cleanse, I don’t use it to take makeup off with. It’s gentle, creamy (but doesn’t clog my pores), non-stripping and great for this time of the year.

Exfoliating and toning
Acid toners have been part of my skincare routine for years but because Differin is a topical retinoid, I’m trying to be a bit more careful with them now. At the beginning, my skin got really dry, it was peeling quite badly, it was painful and now that it’s finally better, I’m incorporating acids and enzyme peels slowly into my routine. I’ve used Vitamin C in the morning for the past few weeks (first, Clinique Fresh Pressed System and now Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum) and I’ve noticed great results, actually. My skin looks brighter and a bit smoother. I’m also using Pixi Peel & Polish twice a week in the morning, it contains Lactic Acid and fruit enzymes which makes it a mild exfoliant and I’ve been quite pleased with it, so far.
Mists and sprays are something I never skip because they feel refreshing and hydrating. La Roche-Posay Serozinc is great for combination and problematic skin while floral sprays like the L’Occitane Peony Perfecting Mist  give a bit of a glow, as well. Pure rose water has always been an essential for me and having a bottle or two of it in my cabinet is a must. Also, Maya Water Facial Mist with Organic Acai is really soothing and full of antioxidants, it’s the one I often spray before applying a facial oil.

Serums and oils
Now, this is a step that I sometimes skip when I feel that my skin gets enough hydration from the rest of the products or I’m simply trying to avoid certain ingredients that day.
I used to use Lancôme Énergie De Vie The Liquid Care as a moisturiser but it is now my morning hydrating serum. It contains powerful antioxidants, it’s lightweight and works well with the rest of the products.
If my skin feels very dry in the morning, I’d use the Dr. Hauschka Day Clarifying Oil. It’s specially designed for oily/combination and blemish-prone skin and I sometimes add a couple of drops to my moisturiser.
One item that has really helped me in this battle is pure rosehip oil. I use it only at night and it saved my skin during the first few weeks with Differin Gel. If you’re not used to retinoids and your skin peels like mine did, pure rosehip oil is really soothing and calming and I can’t recommend it enough. I love my Clarins Blue Orchid OiI, as it has always been really nice on my skin but in situations like this, pure oils still would be the best choice.

Hydration
I find that gels are working really well for the area around my eyes at the moment. Alverde Aqua Gel is lightweight, cooling but still hydrating and soothing. It’s also very affordable and contains great ingredients.
Synchroline Aknicare Cream is more for maintaining what’s already achieved, so far and for protecting the skin barrier function which is very important. It also has great hydrating properties without being heavy and at the moment, that’s the only product in my routine with Salicylic Acid which has been missing in the last few weeks. It’s still a bit new to me, so I’ll share more on this cream in a future post.

Sun protection
Although it’s winter and there isn’t particularly any sunshine in Norway, I’m still using my La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 50 (I probably need SPF 30 now, though). It’s so milky and lightweight that I don’t mind it, especially when I have to protect my skin.

Face masks
Face masks are even more important for me now. I tend to use clay masks at least twice a week because they’re purifying and they balance out my combination skin. The two masks I reach for most of the time are Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub and this is a second tube from it and the other one is L’Oréal Pure-Clay Anti-Blemish Mask* which was launched in the summer and it’s one of my favourite masks in the range, as it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean without drying it out.
When it comes to hydrating face masks, I sometimes use up to five per week, especially when they’re sheet masks like the Bamboo Shot Mask from Erborian.

The most important thing for me now is to keep my skin calm and to remain patient in this fight. I have to say that water in Norway is quite soft and my skin always feels a bit better in Norway than in my home country or anywhere else in Europe, for example. So, I need to take advantage of this now.

Remember to never give up, it takes ages but hopefully, we’re on the right way to having healthy skin again. I still have days when I think I would never have good skin again and I feel like crying. Luckily, my boyfriend and my family always manage to say something specific (that my skin looks less red on that day or it seems a bit smoother, for example) to make me feel better and to believe that it’s going to change.
If you’re dealing with skin issues, I sincerely wish you good luck and if not, protect your skin and take good care of it!

*PR Sample 

Hair & Body Bits | Summer 2017

We often talk about skincare and makeup products we use during the summer but it seems that body and hair ones can be a bit neglected sometimes. Summer’s still here and my intentions are to keep enjoying it before the lack of sun comes upon us. The products I’m featuring today are great for the hot days because they combine the joy of pampering yourself and the care we need in the summer. Of course, I use some of them in the rest of the months, as well but I really love them for the season now.

Starting off with a face mist that I’m actually using on my body. Sun protection is very important all year round and especially in the summer. I’ve been away from Norway this year and I’ve been lucky to have a proper summer with over 38°C which can be very dangerous, too. Pixi Sun Mist SPF 30 is actually meant to be used on the face. It’s a very lightweight milky mist that I tried to use once on my face but it just sits a bit too shiny on my combination skin. Instead, I’ve been loving topping up the sunscreen on my arms when I’m out and about in the city. I don’t usually expose myself in the sun much but I love having this spray bottle in my handbag to be able to reapply the mist a few times a day. It’s only 80 ml, so it’s great for travelling, as well, it lasts a really long time, it’s very easy to apply and doesn’t feel sticky or unpleasant. The sun mist is formulated with Chamomile and Bamboo Extracts, has a lovely subtle scent and I love that it doesn’t leave streaks even on my black clothes.

And while we’re on the mists topic, I’d like to mention the Avène Thermal Spring Water. I have all sizes of it in every room and handbag, I use it on my face and body all the time. It’s very soothing and cooling, I also love spritzing it before applying my facial and body oils so that they can spread more evenly.
One of these oils is the Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil which I shared with you last month in this post. It’s a special gift from my better half while we were on holiday and it’s a great way to moisturise your body even if you don’t like doing it in the summer. This body oil is a treat and it’s a great pleasure to use, the texture is beautiful, the scent is warm and sultry, it’s simply divine.

I’ve been trying many new hair products in the past few months but there are a couple that are my absolute favourites. I’m thinking about preapring a separate blog post on this Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo because there’s a lot I can say about it. I didn’t know I could find Living Proof products around me but one day I went into a lovely store, noticed the brand and picked up this shampoo, they also had the cutest Living Proof minis. This shampoo gives my hair amazing shine and body, tames the frizz and my scalp loves it. It’s really gentle because it’s sulphate-free but lathers up quite well, so you don’t end up feeling like you haven’t washed your hair. It actually cleanses my hair thoroughly but without stripping it. I noticed that many people hate the smell, I really like it, it reminds me of Aura Botanica by Kérastase but it’s a personal preference, so go give it a sniff first in case you’re interested.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I coloured my hair for the first time this year and I was lucky to be able to test out a product that is now one of my favourite ones out there. Kérastase Soleil Aqua Seal* is a fluid cream for sun-exposed, sensitised, colour-treated hair. It comes with a pump which makes it really easy to dispense the right amount of product, it’s very lighweight and doesn’t leave my hair sticky, it also smells incredible. I use the CC Cream from the range, as well but I’d like to think that Aqua Seal* is my hair serum because it makes my hair very strong, shiny, soft, smooth and nourished. In the summer my hair tends to get ginger/red tones because of the sun but this year, it looks totally different and I wish I knew about this product before.

I love all of these products and I feel like I’ve found the perfect summer bits this year. I’m curious to know more about your summer body and hair essentials.

*PR Sample