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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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August Favourites


It’s been feeling a bit more breezy the last couple of weeks, summer’s almost over and as much as I love fall, the rainy days can be way too many sometimes. And when it seems that the rain would never stop, I like to shut the bathroom door in the evening and enjoy taking the day off while listening to the dancing droplets.

I mentioned in my updated simple skincare routine post that I’m not usually a cleansing balm person. They do tend to break me out and leave a residue which causes further problems when I try to apply the rest of my skincare. However, one cleansing balm that really impressed me is the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm which has a sorbet-like texture, removes all the impurities and washes off easily. I wasn’t sure about the essential oils in it, be careful if you have acne-prone skin, I try to avoid them and luckily, the balm didn’t break me out but it’s something to consider, as it can irritate the skin. I wanted to include it here because I really like it despite the essential oils, it leaves my skin purified, soft and nourished, it makes me feel more relaxed and I’m not so scared of cleansing balms anymore.

As a person who tries a lot of skincare products, I really like to have minis of them, it’s easier to use them up while it’s enough to know if you like them and you want to commit to the full size. I’d been waiting for months to get my hands on a mini Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial and when I got it in April, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I’ve been using it once a week, sometimes I’d even skip a week, it’s a powerful product but I have experience with acids, so I wasn’t that concerned about the reaction. I have to say, it does sting a bit and leaves my face red for about 15 minutes afterwards but it has 25% AHA and 2% BHA, so it’s completely normal. Essentially, this product is meant to chemically exfoliate the skin, it removes dead skin cells by breaking down the substances that hold them to the surface. It has a blend of Glycolic, Tartaric, Lactic, Citric and Salicylic Acids and antioxidants like Matcha and Apple Fruit to soothe and calm the skin. My favourite Niacinamide is also included and it helps making the skin look and feel more healthy and radiant. It’s suggested to leave on the product for 20 minutes before washing it off but if it’s the first time trying it, I’d recommend being more careful and leaving it on for 5-10 minutes. Then I’d always follow with something really moisturising and make sure to always use sun protection. I like using Sukari Babyfacial on a Sunday evening and wake up to a baby soft skin. I feel that skincare and makeup apply much better after I’ve used the acid treatment. The downside is that the full size is really expensive which makes me quite sad because I think it’s a great product to have in my skincare stash. It just delivers an immediate effect, that’s the simple truth.

And speaking of evening skincare, here’s my favourite night time lip treatment. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask has been quite a popular item this year and I’m not one to go for the trendy products but as I’ve confessed it multiple times, I’m a lip balm addict. So, I had to try it but the full size seemed too big for me, considering the amount of lip treatments I have on rotation. I found this cute little set with a few other Laneige products that I love and I thought it would be the best way to find out why the lip mask was so special. And now I want to have the rest of the flavours. Because it simply works. My lips have never been softer, when I apply it, it creates a film that protects and hydrates them throughout the night and on the next morning they look and feel nourished and there’s no sign of the cracked lips caused by the cold weather or being in the sun or not drinking enough water (which almost never happens, luckily)… The lip mask is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants from a blend of Strawberries, Raspberries, Cranberries, Goji Berries and Blueberries to soften the skin. The best thing for me is that the effect lasts for the whole next day while some lip balms only make your lips drier when you aren’t reapplying them every 10 minutes.

Before trying out the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet, I was sure it would be a great summer moisturiser but I thought it would be a bit too light for the colder days. Now, I’m convinced that the lightweight texture provides enough hydration even for drier skin. This product is an oil-free, lightweight gel-cream that feels rich at the same time, it has such a unique feel that it’s hard to describe it. I’ve been facing some dry patches lately and the sorbet has been helping me to keep them at bay. It contains Organic Grape Water to moisturise, Chamomile to soothe and antioxidant-rich Grape Seed Polyphenols to replenish. I was a bit concerned about the Shea Butter in it as it sometimes breaks me out but so far, I haven’t experienced any irritation. Too bad it contains fragrance because it’s not appropriate for really sensitive skin and it’s not particularly nice-smelling, to be fair. It’s not the best face moisturiser I’ve tried but it’s a favourite because it leaves my skin soft and supple without making it shiny, the texture is beautiful and I’m happy I got the chance to finally try some of the Caudalie‘s products.

There’s only one makeup product that I want to mention and luckily, Lumene has been getting a bit more attention in the past few months. I think they have some wonderful products, makeup and skincare ones, that deserve to be mentioned. One of them is this Nordic Chic Natural Glow Blush in the shade Tulip Blossoms. It looks really bright in the pan but on the face, it just gives the most natural healthy and radiant pop of colour that you barely notice. It simply looks like you have it naturally and it’s incredibly easy to apply and blend it over the apples of the cheeks. It’s a powder blush but the texture is silky soft and it makes it feel almost like a cream blush. I’m in love with this blush, it’s the only one I’ve been wearing this summer and I’m thinking about purchasing another shade. Also, the whole Nordic Chic range is really elegant and has the most beautiful textures which makes me want to try the mascaras, as well. For such a natural-looking blush, it’s really long-lasting and at the end of the day, it still looks pretty. If you’re looking for Scandinavian beauty products, this blush should be on your list.

These are a few products I’ve been loving throughout the month of August, I haven’t been using that much new makeup but I’m excited for the autumn collections already. They never fail to surprise us.

March Favourites

Spring is upon us and although it’s still quite cold outside, sunshine finally shows up and puts a smile on my face. March has been filled with good and bad surprises but I’m trying to think of our trip to Lisbon. I felt so calm and relaxed there and I’d be really happy to go back one day.

Speaking of Portugal, I did quite a bit of unplanned beauty shopping but unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to try most of the new items yet. In case you haven’t seen the haul post, it’s here.

My favourite beauty products of the month are a mix of some skincare, fragrance and a makeup product. Most of them are minis because they’re really easy to take when you’re travelling, so I’ve been mainly using travel size products.

Starting off with a skincare item that I was very curious about but didn’t have any expectations. I’ve heard so many different opinions on the Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner, from people sharing how it had dried out their skin to others saying how the texture of their skin had been transformed into a beautiful and smooth, glowy and poreless canvas, that I didn’t know what to expect. My experience is a little bit different. I don’t have poreless skin and I never will, my skin hasn’t been dried out and luckily, the toner didn’t break me out but indeed, it made the texture of my skin a bit smoother. Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner has a scent, similar to rose water but the type of rose water you’d get from a pharmacy, if that makes sense. It feels very gentle on my skin and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. I noticed a difference in my skin after a couple of weeks of using the toner, it’s now more radiant, soft and clear. I’m pretty happy with this toner and I’m now trying to find the mini sizes they’ve just launched.

I’m new to essences, as I’ve tried only two, so far but I have to say, I like them both. Today I’m talking about the one I’ve been using for longer and I’m not usually a fan of piling on dozens of skincare products but this extra step has made a significant change to my skin condition. Belif have several types of essences and I purchased a travel size set from the brand as an introduction to their range. The set contains one of their essences. Belif Hungarian Water Essence is a really lightweight serum that feels hydrating after being instantly absorbed by the skin. I use it after my toner and before my moisturiser, morning and evening. I love the way it feels on the skin, it’s almost like water and I can see that it moisturises my skin without leaving it greasy. This has been my favourite texture since I discovered Water Drop by Dr. Jart + last summer and my skin seems to love it, as well. Belif Hungarian Water Essence contains a blend of apothecary herbs, such as rosemary and lavender, that are both, hydrating and antioxidant. If you’re having oily/combination skin that is prone to breakouts, that’s the type of moisturiser you need to try. I think it would be amazing in the summer on its own. I’m yet to try the brand’s Aqua Bomb cream but this essence has been fantastic on my skin, so far.

I’ve mentioned the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream a few times on my blog already and I had to include it in a favourites post mainly because it surprised me. If you think about the Belif essence and its texture, the Drunk Elephant Cream is exactly the opposite. It’s rich and thick and I felt a bit unsure at the beginning, that’s why I’m mainly using it at night. But it surprised me because it doesn’t feel heavy although it takes a bit longer to absorb and doesn’t clog my pores. My skin feels soft and moisturised, it’s not irritated and I’m starting to love more and more Drunk Elephant. I still think that this cream would be too rich for my skin in the summer but I’ve been loving it in the winter months.

It’s surprising I haven’t talked about Surratt‘s Smoky Eye Baton in the shade Etincelle until now. I got it in the Liberty Advent Calendar and I’ve been wearing it ever since, especially the pencil side. It’s basically a double-sided pencil with a creamy liner on one side and an eyeshadow on the other. The brand describes the shade as copper but on me it is more of a smoky bronze and makes the eyes look quite sultry. I love the pencil side, it’s creamy, easy to use and smudge and you get a gorgeous eye look in just a minute. The eyeshadow side has a tapered sponge and the shade is quite pigmented and really pretty. Sometimes I’d apply it only on my top lid or I’d use it to smudge the pencil even more. I don’t use the shadow side that often, as it’s sadly, not the most long-wearing one and creases even if I wear a primer but the colours are absolutely gorgeoous and perfect for every day or for a night out.

Since we spent some time in Lisbon and the weather there was really nice, I started thinking more of spring/summer scents. On a sunny day like today, I’d use Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia on its own and when it’s a bit colder, I’d mix it with something deeper, like Pomegranate Noir. It’s a beautiful combination, still fresh but a bit deeper. The brand describes English Pear & Freesia as an autumn scent that is floral and fruity but for me, it’s a wonderful spring scent that is not too floral, nor too fruity, it’s juicy but delicate, crispy and fresh, clean, polished and elegant. It’s beautiful!

These are my most loved products for the month of March. Hope you’re having a sunny day!

First Impressions | Drunk Elephant & Sunday Riley


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

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

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

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

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

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