Tag Archives: alverde

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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Empties #11

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This year’s finally coming to an end and what better time to get rid of all the empty bottles of beauty products than now?

Skincare and Makeup Products

Purederm Tea Tree Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes and Purederm Argan Oil Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes – I’ve mentioned many times that I’m not the biggest fan of wet wipes but I always have a packet when I travel. These took me a long time to use up but I have to say, they are probably my favourite wet wipes, so far. They are really gentle and remove makeup quite well, the Tea Tree ones feel very refreshing and I think I’d repurchase them;
Arminabio Organic Chamomile Water – It shouldn’t be a secret by now that I adore floral waters and this one was the first chamomile water I’ve ever tried. It removes the last traces of makeup after cleansing, it feels soft on the skin and I already have a second bottle of it. Not really keen on the packaging though, the spray isn’t working very well but I can live with that;
Sephora Lotus Face Mask – Whenever I have access to a Sephora boutique, I always take the chance to stock up on their sheet masks. Love most of them and this soothing and moisturising one is a favourite of mine;
Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum – Another bottle of this one is already in use, it’s a brilliant budget moisturising serum, the pump is great and makes it easy to get every single drop of the product. A must-have for me in the colder months and really good addition to my skincare routine;
Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate – One more hydrating serum but a lot more expensive. It actually doubles up as a toner and a serum, it leaves the skin moisturised and soothed and has a lovely scent;
Alverde Q10 Eye Serum with Organic Goji Berry – This was a random purchase but it turned out to be quite successful. The eye serum has a nice scent and hydrates the delicate under eye area pretty well. The formula is rich in natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals;
La Roche-Posay Effaclar K (+) – I’ve had a full size of this one but the sachet reminded me how much I loved it, it makes my skin smoother and clearer and I should probably get a new tube;
La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. – I’ve always had minis of this product but I think it might be time to get a full size of it because it does a great job at healing the hyperpigmentation that’s left from spots and reduces the redness when there’s an active spot;
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat – One more product I’ve had a full size of but I have to say, it’s not as good for my skin anymore as it used to be about 2 years ago;
Clinique Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse – Lovely brow gel that tames and fills in the brows, long-lasting and comfortable to wear.

Body and Hair Products

Bilou Creamy Mandarin Shower Foam – Shower foams are getting more and more popular (thanks to Rituals amazing shower foams) because they are easy to use and soft but rich on the skin. This one smells sweet without being too strong and I really enjoyed using it. Actually, I think I have two more scents from this brand that I found in Germany;
Naturé Moi Body Wash with Organic Fig Extract – I saw this brand randomly and purchased a couple of products because it’s not very common to see sulphate-free products at the drugstore. This body wash contains Salicylic Acid and is purifying but mild, it doesn’t have the most ‘clean’ ingredients list but I’m impressed considering it is so affordable;
Balea Professional Pure Volume Shampoo – One of my favourite drugstore shampoos, it has a light gel texture and gives my hair so much volume and shine, have repurchased a ton of times and will continue to repurchase;
Alverde Ultra Sensitive Shampoo – That was a nice everyday shampoo, it’s sulphate-free, gentle to the scalp and pretty affordable;
Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Body Cream – That will be my next Rituals body cream, it smells divine and hydrates the skin beautifully. I’m a big fan of the brand’s body creams, the Honey Touch is my favourite but this one is just as lovely;
L’Occitane Milk Concentrate with Almond Milk – One of the most hydrating body moisturisers. Smells exactly like the brand’s famous shower oil, has light texture but feels incredibly nourishing;
Victoria’s Secret Sheer Love White Cotton & Pink Lily Fragrance Mist – These are not something I would usually go for and I ended up giving the mist to mum because she liked the light scent. It’s not bad but doesn’t stay on the skin for a long time;
L’Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote EDT – Fresh and delicate scent that is quite pleasant but it doens’t last long on me;
Bvulgari Rose Goldea EDP – I love scents with rose notes, many perfumes at the moment have rose in their middle notes but when it’s one of the top notes, I always feel like it’s a bit too heavy and oriental for my taste. However, this is not the case with Rose Goldea. This fragrance is so beautiful and feminine that I could actually think of purchasing it.

These are my last empties for 2016 and I’m really excited for my favourite products of the year!

Drugstore Skincare Update | Autumn 2016

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When seasons change, my skin isn’t the happiest. When autumn comes, my skin is always in its most terrible condition. Not sure exactly why and how but even my trustworthy skincare products never help.
That’s why I try to switch up the items I use sometimes but step by step and not all by once because it could be even worse for the skin.

I believe that we can find really good products at the drugstore, so whenever I have access to brands I don’t see in Norway, the hunt begins. I’ve been incorporating these products one by one into my skincare routine in the past few weeks and I’m pleased to say that I’m already seeing results and my skin is getting a bit better.

When it comes to facial serums that are affordable, I’m looking for hydrating ones because let’s be honest, the ‘magical’ ingredients are a lot more expensive and they’re difficult to find on the high street. I have combination skin that is also dehydrated and all the issues get even more problematic in the autumn, the oily zones get even oilier, the lack of water shows up even more, as well.
Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum 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 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 also got the sheet mask from the same range and I think they’re both good for people with oily or combination skin that is also dehydrated. 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.

Oils were something I never thought I’d use on a daily basis and now I just can’t go a day without applying facial oil to my skin. I learned about the Alverde Wild Rose Facial Oil from my mum who loves it and I got a bottle of it back in June but never used it. I left it in Norway, so when my skin started feeling really thirsty, I ran and got a second bottle to finally try it. I was a bit worried because it’s designed for dry skin and some of the oils in it aren’t particularly good on my skin but I’ve been loving it, so far. It didn’t break me out and I love the subtle rose scent and the texture of the oil. 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.

Last but not least, I picked up a new moisturiser. About a year ago, I tried a few products from the French pharmacy brand Mixa and their Anti-Imperfection series that I really liked. So, when I saw that they have a new moisturiser from the same range, I had to have it. Mixa 2 in 1 Anti-Imperfection Moisturising Cream with Mattifying Silicate S and Purifying Zinc is suitable for sensitive and blemish-prone skin. It’s supposed to moisturise the skin while reducing spots and tightening the pores. The formula is paraben-free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. The cream feels light but still nourishing and I haven’t used it for that long to say more about the effect on pores and pigmentation but it makes my skin soft and somehow smoother. It doesn’t keep it mattified for more than a couple of hours but no moisturiser does it for me anyway. The cream is great under make-up and I don’t even need a primer after applying it.

I recently added one more skincare item to my autumn routine but I’ll be preparing a separate post on it, as I’m really falling in love with it although it’s a bit too early to form an opinion.

Do you switch up your skincare regimen when seasons change and what’s your favourite product this autumn?

Empties #9

DSC_0387postcollageemptiesLooks like I never know when to stop adding used up products to my box of empties and at the end there are tons of bottles and jars waiting for me to write a blog post on them. That might be a long one…

Face products
– Alverde 3 in 1 Cleansing Foam with Lime & Apple – This one was a very gentle morning cleanser for me, it didn’t strip my skin, it didn’t dry it out and I’d like to try more skincare items from the brand;
– Clarins Toning Alcohol-Free Lotion with Iris – I enjoyed using this toner but I don’t think I’d repurchase it because I didn’t see a significant difference with it and at the moment, I rely on my trustworthy floral waters;
– Maya Water Facial Mist with Organic White Tea and Organic Acai – These two were amazing, the thermal water is always very soothing and calming but also hydrating. I loved using it before or after make-up, as a quick boost of hydration throughout the day, on irritated skin around my body…it’s just a great multi-purpose skin saviour;
– Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores – My favourite clay mask of all time, I will definitely repurchase once I use up the rest of my face masks because I always end up applying this one even if I have a hundred more that I like;
– Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream – Probably the best eye cream I’ve ever tried, will get a new tube of it because it makes my dark under eye area a bit more radiant and fresh-looking, it doesn’t erase my circles but it makes me look more awake and healthy;
– Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil – Another huge favourite of mine, I’m currently using the Blue Orchid one and I love them both in the different seasons. This one is amazing on my combination skin because it gives me all the benefits of a facial oil but without breaking me out or making my skin more oily;
– Eucerin Active Night Care – There are so many night creams that I’ve been using in the past year that this one was left behind a bit but it’s still a favourite especially in the winter and I should get a new tube of it;
– Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Blemish Stick – It took me a really long time to use this stick up because it wasn’t the best one, I got it when I was in London a couple of years ago along with other products from the range and this was my least favourite, I think. It just didn’t do much to heal my blemishes;
– L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper – At first, I didn’t like this product but then I found the right way to use it and it was my weekend brow shaper, it’s just very quick and easy to use and doesn’t look too heavy;
– Lancôme Hypnôse Volume-à-porter Mascara – One of my favourite mascaras this year, I love the brush and the effect that it gives, the only downside is that it’s really difficult to remove it but I could live with that;
– Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara – Another great mascara that gives serious volume to the lashes;
– Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara – This one reminds me a bit of the Benefit Roller Lash which is a huge love of mine, I’m usually quite picky when it comes to mascaras but there have been amazing launches this year;
– Lancôme Juicy Shaker in Vanilla Pop – I’ve used up one of these! I love them so much and I use them every day, apparently that’s the shade I’ve had on my lips most of the time, they are moisturising, they smell amazing, they aren’t super pigmented but the shades are very pretty;

Body and Hair products
– Alverde Nettle & Melisse Shampoo – Many years ago I used to use nettle shampoos because they made my hair very shiny, this one did the same and I enjoyed using it;
– Balea Everyday Shampoo Cool Blossom – It was just a normal everyday shampoo that smelled really nice and fresh, I love having budget shampoos because I wash my hair very often and I go through them quite quickly. Also, my hair gets used to a certain shampoo and I try to rotate them;
– Kérastase Bains Clarifant – My favourite purifying shampoo, now I’m curious to try more. It gave me volume and shine while keeping my hair soft and light;
– Dove Hair Therapy Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo – This is one of the best dry shampoos I’ve tried, I’m quite sad I can’t find it in many countries because it refreshes the hair without leaving a white residue and making it too sticky;
– Batiste Heavenly Volume Dry Shampoo – It was something like a texturising spray and a dry shampoo in one and I actually quite liked it;
– Kneipp Shower Cream Almond Milk & Almond OilKneipp have some of my favourite body washes, I’ve had a mini of this one and this was a full size just because the creamy texture feels nice on the skin and I love using it in the winter;
– Kneipp Watermelon & Mint Shower Gel – That was a summer pick, it was incredibly fresh and great for those morning showers;
– Imperial Leather Summer Days Nourishing Body Wash – It really felt nourishing, not so much to skip my body lotion step, of course, but I liked this one and I may try more from the brand;
– Original Source Limited Edition Wild Cherry & Nettle Shower Gel – If you want a huge variety of body wash scents, look no further. I always spend a lot of time in front of Original Source shower gels because they have so many types and I always seem to like them, this one was no exception;
– Ziaja Orange Butter Creamy Shower Soap – This is the best morning body wash for me, without a doubt, it smells of freshly squeezed orange juice and I absolutely adore it, already have a second bottle;
– L’Occitane Peach Shower Gel – I already said how much I love peach-scented body products and this one is heavenly-fragranced, L’Occitane never disappoint with their body care;
– Lancôme Bocage Foaming Shower Gel – Speaking of scents, this one smells of tulip garden and also contains AHAs. Now that I’m not using it anymore, I really see what difference it made;
– I Love… Raspberry & Blackberry Exfoliating Shower Smoothie – Gorgeous scent but not the best scrub, I would rather try to find the body wash;
– Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil – My whole family are huge fans of the original Eight Hour Cream, so it’s not a surprise that I loved the oil, as well. It’s a multi-purpose product but I love using it on my body rather than anywhere else;
– Lilly Oil-Based Nail Polish Remover – Seasons are changing but the best nail polish remover remains the same, I’ve never tried anything better, it effectively removes nail varnish while hydrating the nails and cuticles;
– Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops – I really miss this product, I might like it more than Seche Vite, it somehow works quicker in drying my nail polish;

Sachets and Samples
– Clarins Self Tanning Milky-Lotion – I’m not very good at the fake tanning but I loved the smell of figs and the glowy finish that this one gave me;
– IROHA Peach Intensive Hands Repair – A Korean hand mask that was peach-scented…a winner! It did a great job at softening my hands when we were coming out of the winter;
– Lernberger & Stafsing Leave-in Treatment BB Cream – I’m thinking about getting a full size of this one because I adore leave-in conditioners and although I used it just a few times, I think my hair looked very good with it;
– Biotherm Wonder Mud Skin-Best Face Mask with Algae Extract – I can’t give a full review on this one because I used it a couple of times only but my skin felt really smooth and soft;
– Guerlain Abeille Royale Up-Lifting Eye Care – I took this one away with me because I didn’t want to carry many products on a weekend trip and I have to say, I loved the luxurious feeling. The cream is so rich and hydrating that I don’t need months to use it to know it’s great;
– Dior Star Foundation – This one was a bit heavy and shiny for my combination skin, plus, I already found my favourite foundation;
– Dior Hydra Life Water BB Tinted Aqua Gel SPF 30 – Too orange, heavy and oily, really oily-looking on me;
Dior Forever Everlasting Wear Foundation – The best! I have a full size from it, I’ve done a review and I can’t explain how much I love this foundation. It’s great if you have combination skin but even my mum loves it on her dry skin;
Clinique Superbalanced Makeup – With this one my skin looks smooth, it has high coverage but natural finish…however, it’s very dark, it has thick consistency and I have this shiny face 30 minutes after applying it.

These are all the products I’ve used up in the past few months. Writing this post made me realise how much I miss some of them already and I should update my wishlist.

Munich Beauty Haul | June 2016

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Last week, my boyfriend had a trip to Munich. He asked me if I needed anything and although I really didn’t, there were a few products that seemed interesting to me and that could be found only in Germany. Sadly, most of them were sold out, so he picked up things he thought I might like.

The Kaufmanns Cream was one of the items that I really wanted to stock up on (luckily he got 3!) because I love using it when my lips are really dry and there isn’t another place where they have it. There’s also a new tube of the amazing multi-purpose Weleda Skin Food which is great because it’s the 75 ml one and it turned out that it’s not so easy to find this bigger version. Another skincare items is the Alverde Wild Rose Facial Oil which I’ve been wanting for such a long time but always forget to get when I’m in Germany or home. My mum talks about it all the time, she loves it and I hope it will get along with my skin, as well.

I love the Ebelin Professional brushes, so I wanted another one of their most popular Blending Brush and also decided to try the Eyeshadow & Concealer Brush which seems a bit stiff and hard at the moment but I haven’t tried it more than a couple of times.

The mini hair masks from Swiss O’ Par aren’t something new for me, I like how portable they are, they have many scents to choose from and my boyfriend decided to pick up the Orange, Maracuja and Kiwi ones. On my list, I also had my beloved Balea Peach & Coconut Hair Milk, a fantastic leave-in conditioner from the drugstore. Plus, it smells of peaches rather than coconut, doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy and makes it shiny and soft.

I’ve shared before that L’Occitane and their products feel very sentimental to me, I always connect them to trips and stories, so my boyfriend picked up two items from them. They’re both from the Cherry Blossom range and they are Bath & Shower Gel and Solid Perfume. L’Occitane are famous for their amazing body washes, so I can’t wait to try this one but also, I’ve been so curious about their solid perfumes! They are adorable-looking, you can carry them around in your bag and top up your fragrance throughout the day and this scent is just perfect for the spring and summer, delicate, feminine and a bit sweet.
He also noticed some new shower foams from Bilou and picked up the Cherry Blossom and Splashy Melon scents. I haven’t tried them yet but I learnt they are pretty popular in Germany at the moment.
Balea always surprise with new scents and huge tubes of their body washes, so my better half added the Sweet Smoothie Shower Gel to his shopping basket. Another item from Balea is the new limited edition Body Gelée with Mint and Watermelon scent. I really wanted to try it because it sounded interesting and indeed, it is. I think it’s great for the warmer months because it sinks into the skin very quickly, leaving a fresh scent. It doesn’t feel sticky, at all and although, it doesn’t have the best moisturising properties, it’s still a great one to use after a morning shower, for example.

Unfortunately, it seems that Yves Rocher have discontinued their signature fruity fragrances. I’m not completely sure if that’s the case but it makes me very sad because they were perfect for the summer days. At the end, my boyfriend decided to pick up two of their deodorants in the Lotus Flower and Spanish Pomegranate scents.

Me and my mum (plus my boyfriend’s granny) have something like an obsession with soaps. There are so many beautiful ones with gorgeous scents that it’s hard to stay neutral to them. We’ve had a few of the Crabtree & Evelyn soaps before and we loved them, so my boyfriend decided to get the Pear & Pink Magnolia, Black Sea Mud & Seaweed and Almond Milk & Honey ones. On the way back, he saw a Jo Malone counter and picked up their Blackberry & Bay Bath Soap which is almost too beautiful to use and smells amazing.

I’ll be sharing more about some of the products once I’ve tried them for a few weeks but so far, I’m really enjoying the new additions and I’m quite happy to have a backup of some old favourites.