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Lisbon Beauty Haul | Skinlife, Rituals, Sephora


Lisbon has been amazing, so far! Well, it’s been a bit rainy and windy but I’m feeling so calm and happy here that the weather doesn’t really matter. I didn’t plan to do any beauty shopping in Portugal but I went ‘browsing’ in a few places and my boyfriend encouraged me with ”We don’t have these stores and brands, so just take the chance while we’re here!” and I took it.

During our first walk in the area of the hotel, we came across a beautiful boutique called Skinlife. It’s a lovely little shop with friendly people working there who were really helpful. Unfortunately, many of the items I was hoping to see there were sold out, so I ended up getting Byredo‘s Gypsy Water in a Perfumed Oil Roll-on variant. It lasts really long time on me, I can smell it even after I’ve taken a shower and I think I might be doing a separate blog post on it, as it’s not the type of fragrance I’d normally go for. Then I picked up the Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Masque because I’ve been wanting it for years and I can’t wait to try it.

Rituals stores always smell so nice when you’re passing by, so I just need to go inside and take a look at what they have. We got The Ritual of Hammam – Purifying Treat Set for my dad because he loves the scent but he hasn’t tried some of the products. We also picked up two hand balms, I love that these come with pumps, it’s great to place them by the bathroom sink and use the balm after washing your hands. We already gave one to someone, so it’s not pictured above but we went for The Ritual of Sakura and The Ritual of Ayurveda scents. The brand’s shower foams are such a pleasure to use and I love collecting all the sizes, so when I saw the mini Sakura one which I was missing until now, I picked it up, as well. Then they gave us this beautiful gift, called Spring Blossom which contains The Ritual of Sakura Hand Lotion and La Vie en Rose Smooth Colour Gloss.

There are several Sephora stores around us, so the temptation is real. At first, I didn’t think I needed something but you just can’t go into a Sephora store and not pick up anything. To be fair, I’m writing this haul post now, so that I don’t continue buying more.
I was looking for some face masks which I didn’t find but at the end, most of the products I got, are actually face masks. And there is only one makeup product! But it truly is a stunner.
There were a few shades of the Givenchy Prisme Visage Face Powder available. I went for the darkest one, 7 Taffetas Caramel. It’s essentially a bronzing powder with a peachy brown highlight. The texture is so soft and smooth that it almost feels unreal. I’m in love with this face powder but there is a special lady that would love it as much as me and although, I really want to keep it, I will gift it to her.
Then I got a few minis of the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam because I really like it and I haven’t seen it in a travel size before (the only mini that I have was from their Christmas set). You can read my really old review on it here.
Another mini I needed was of the one of Pixi Glow Tonic, as I have the really tiny one and the standard one but I was missing this 100 ml bottle which is still a bit big for travelling but it seems like a good backup. Wish I could find those big bottles with pumps.
We were looking for the Dr. Jart + Ceramidin Cream for my boyfriend, as his skin is really dry but it was sold out in every Sephora. One of them, however, had this Help Me Ceramidin Trial Kit that contains minis (again with the minis, I just can’t help myself) of the Cream, Liquid and Gel Cream, so I thought I might try some, as well.
The cute Sephora Clay Masks were out on a display and it was pretty hard to choose which one to take with me but at the end, I got the Green, Red and Pink Clay Masks. It’s suggested that they can be used 4 times and I’m really curious about them because I already heard positive reviews.
I wish I could find the sheet masks from Skinfood but they don’t seem to have any of them. They also didn’t have the Freshmade Watermelon Mask from the brand, so I ended up with the Tomato Soup Sleeping Pack. I love the Dr. Jart + sheet masks and I think I haven’t had the Brightening Solution one before, although I’ve seen many people talk about it. Then my boyfriend added the Shake & Shot Rubber Soothing Mask to the basket although I wasn’t sure if I wanted it. It looks slightly creepy to me but he said he would enjoy seeing me try it… he sure will.
Patchology wasn’t that well stocked up, unfortunately, but I’m very curious about these Restoring Night Eye Gels, too bad the box has just 5 packs inside.
I’ve seen Papa Recipe Red Ginseng Honey Oil Mask somewhere before but I haven’t tried it. The brand has several types of these sheet masks but I limited myself to just one. Then the lady in the near said I was going wild with the masks and suggested to show me something new that wouldn’t be on a display for a couple more weeks but that I might be interested in. So, she brought a few Korean The Oozoo masks which seem a bit gimmicky but I hope they work because mixing the capsule with the mask right before applying it sounds great. At the end I picked up the Fresh Capsule Mask Rose Petal, the Face in-shot Mask Hydro Lift and the Face Energy Shot Mask Premium Black.

I feel like I have face masks for a couple of months ahead but it was just too tempting seeing all those products that I can’t find so easily in Norway. Now it’s time to start trying out all these beauty bits!

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Empties #17

As we’re approaching the end of the month and the year, here’s another portion of empty products.

Skincare and Makeup Products

Zdrave Acne Stop Micellar Water – This one was too fragranced and not that effective, won’t repurchase but I like other products from the range;
Estée Lauder Double Wear Long-Wear Makeup Remover Wipes – They are oil-infused which makes taking off makeup quite easy, they feel a bit more dry and at first I didn’t think they could remove makeup that well but they actually do. I like taking them away with me when I travel;
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel – One of my favourite cleansers, it’s gentle but purifying, it’s soap-free and mild. I’d recommend it if you have combination or oily skin and you struggle with blemishes sometimes;
Zdrave Acne Stop Cleansing Gel – I actually have a full review on these two cleansing gels here, this is another amazing budget soap-free cleanser;
Clinique Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser – I love Clinique but this range is such a hit and miss. Sadly, this was a disappointing product for me and I ended up using it as a body polisher. It just didn’t do much for my face, plus, because of my skin issues at the moment, I’m trying to avoid cleansers that contain sulphates;
Zdrave Acne Stop Lotion – Sadly, this one contains alcohol but I quite liked it because of the Salicylic Acid. It calms my troubled skin and I already have a second bottle of it;
Armina Bio Organic Chamomile Water – Floral waters are a huge love of mine, they make my skin soft and hydrated. Chamomile water is also very good for me when my eyes are tired or a bit red, I soak two cotton pads and place them over my eyes for some minutes. It’s been helping us with our cats, as well, especially with one that is blind and needs his eyes cleaned once or twice a day and everything else is too harsh and drying. So, this is not only a skincare gem, it’s simply great to have it at home;
Pixi Skintreats Glow Mud Mask – That’s a great skincare find for me, need a full size now because I love how quick and easy to use it is and I don’t need hours to wash it off, as it doesn’t get so dry and tight like most mud masks do;
Argiletz Laboratories Pink Clay Face Mask – A lovely purifying but also hydrating face mask perfect for my troubled skin because it doesn’t dry it out. Too bad it didn’t last that long but it’s definitely a nice one and I’d repurchase or try some of the other clay masks from the brand;
KICKS Drink Up Instant Moisture Mask – This is the second tube I have from this mask because it’s lightweight but hydrating and sometimes I need a bit more moisture because of the Differin I’ve been using for a month or so. The brand’s face masks were initially sent to me to try, so if you want to read a full review, here’s a link to it;
Balea Aqua Hydrating Sheet Mask – I’m seeing so many different reviews and opinions on this face mask but I personally love it. It’s cooling, hydrating, comfortable to wear and it’s very affordable. I’ve stocked up on it, as I can’t find it in many countries;
Dr. Jart + Clearing Solution – Really enjoyed using it because it calmed my blemishes without drying my skin out. There were about 10-15 ml of the solution left in the sachet which I used as a serum afterwards, I just decanted it into a glass bottle with a pipette and used it at night when my skin looked a bit spotty;
Purederm Deep Purifying Black O2 Bubble Mask – The sensation was strange, it wasn’t that nice and I didn’t see any results. Too bad because Purederm have some really nice products;
Balea Beauty Effect Eye Gel-Pads – They feel cooling and hydrating thanks to the Hyaluronic Acid, they’re fragrance-free and I’d love to use them now, actually;
L’Oréal Revitalift Laser Renew Eye – Applicator feels great in the morning because it’s a bit cold, it’s comfortable to dispense the amount of product you need and feels firming after a few weeks of using it;
No7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm – Too bad it’s an underrated brand because they have some amazing skincare products and this is one of them. It’s moisturising but it’s also really nice if you’re having tired eyes, it feels soothing and a bit cooling;
Balea Vital Eye and Lip Contour Balm – I didn’t use this one around my lips and the range is actually suggested for more mature skin but some of the products are lovely and I wanted to try more. I like to use this balm during the colder months because it makes the skin under my eyes much softer and hydrated;
Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner – I have mixed feelings towards this product but I feel like I just can’t make it work for me. There’s a post with my thoughts on it here;
Eucerin Sun Fluid SPF 50 – Well, Eucerin products are simply lovely, I still haven’t found an item from them that’s disappointing. I’ve been having a lot of problems with finding a sunscreen that doesn’t clog my pores and luckily, this was one that didn’t cause more issues for my skin;
Weleda Skin Food – A must-have in every home! Great ingredients list, fantastic soothing and nourishing properties, cult product that doesn’t need any further explanation;
MAC Instacurl Lash MascaraMAC mascaras are sometimes terrible on my lashes but when they’re good, they simply rock. This has been a favourite for months, it’s my second tube of it, I don’t have a third because I found even better ones (one is from MAC again) but one day, I’ll be surely going back to this one because it gives me great separation and curl;
Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara – You can tell I love well-separated lashes, as this is another volumising and separating mascara. It’s really long-lasting and doesn’t smudge and this was probably my third tube of it;
Aura Correct Me! Concealer – A lovely budget concealer that I’m quite sad I didn’t get a back up of. It has medium coverage, it’s creamy and works just as well under the eyes or around the face. Need to repurchase;

Hair Products

Bochko Lavender Baby Shampoo – I’ve been testing out so many new haircare products that I can’t finish up any but I’ve been loving this baby shampoo, it’s sulphate-free, makes my hair really soft and shiny, has a delicate scent and I now have to stock up whenever I’m in my home country;
Kérastase Aura Botanica Gentle Aromatic Shampoo and Kérastase Oil Mist – Both of these products are repurchases and the latter is not featured on the photo because I just used it up but I have to say, Aura Botanica is one of my favourite haircare ranges and I’d rather leave you my reviews on every single one of the products from the line here;
Alverde Fig Body Butter – This was part of a set of three mini body butters and I grabbed it first because I love fig scents. Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell like figs to me, at all but it’s not an unpleasant scent. Also, Alverde body butters always have nice texture and hydrating properties, so I’m happy that I could try it;
Rituals The Ritual of Dao Bed & Body Mist – Another mini from a set. I use Rituals mists only to spritz our bedsheets with because they’re a little bit different from most bed mists, they don’t actually smell of Lavender (which I love but sometimes I like to switch it up a bit) and I think it could be a nice change.

These are all my recent empties and I feel like next time I’ll be featuring some cute minis from my beauty advent calendars that I’m already so excited to start opening!

Empties #16

I’ve used up some beauty products again and I thought I’d share with you a bit more on them.

Skincare and Makeup Products

L’Oréal Micellar Water for Sensitive and Dry Skin – I got a big bottle of this one, hoping it would be very good, especially considering it’s meant to be suitable even for sensitive skin. Unfortunately, it stings my eyes, it’s tough to remove mascara (although I try not to use micellar water around my eyes) and it leaves some residue on the skin. I always wash my face after taking my makeup off but it’s just not a pleasant feeling;
Clarins Anti-Pollution Cleansing Milk – This, on the other hand, is really mild yet effective and simply lovely to use. It has a beautiful and delicate scent, it doesn’t irritate my eyes, feels soft on the skin and the mini was great for travelling;
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel – One of my favourite cleansing gels at the moment. It’s soap-free, it’s suitable for blemish-prone skin, it can be used on both, face and body and you can read more details on my experience with the product here;
Avène Thermal Spring Water – This summer has been so hot and I really like it but it’s been a bit too much for my skin. This thermal water is not only cooling but also soothing and refreshing. I’ve used up more than 4 bottles of it in the past few months and now I’m halfway through a huge one that would probably be the last one for the season. I just don’t seem to reach for thermal water sprays in the colder months or at least not so often;
La Roche-Posay Serozinc – Another mist but this time specially designed to help healing blemishes and mattifying the skin. I’ve mentioned so many times that I love this product, it’s been featured on my blog multiple times and I will keep repurchasing it;
Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask – This is my favourite affordable sheet mask for days when I need ingredients like Salicylic Acid and Zinc. It’s lovely to use, it helps reducing the redness caused by blemishes, it also heals them a lot quicker and I always try to have a few of this sheet mask in my skincare stash;
Origins Flower Fusion Raspberry Sheet Mask – The Flower Fusion Sheet Masks are still not mentioned much in the community but in case you’re curious about them, I shared my opinion and experience here. The Raspberry one is probably my favourite of all because it’s perfect for my combination skin, it’s really refreshing and contains vitamins and antioxidants;
Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum – This is one of my favourite budget-friendly hydrating serums although there’s another one I like just a little bit more. This is my second bottle of it, I think I purchased about 5 when I was in London simply because I can find it only in the UK. My skin is hydrated, plump and radiant when I’m using this little gem;
Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Day Cream – I haven’t talked about this cream in a long time but it still must be the one that holds the record for being in Empties posts the most. I can use it in the summer or winter and it will still be effective. It’s soothing, hydrating without being greasy, absorbs quickly, regulates sebum production and I’d recommend checking it out if you have oily/combination and blemish-prone skin;
Estée Lauder Revitalising Supreme + – This is just a beautiful product. The mini of 15 ml is great for travelling but it actually lasts a really long time. The cream visibly makes the skin look smoother, more radiant and firm. Sometimes it can be a bit too rich for my skin but mum has dry skin and she absolutely loves it;
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra Comforting Night Cream – Another product that is actually mum’s but I occasionally steal and use when my skin is very dry and dehydrated. The texture is rich, so I don’t use a lot on my combination skin but it’s still enough to make me look more fresh on the next day. It feels nourishing and leaves the skin plump and soft, I also love the scent because it’s nice but not too overpowering;
Vichy Dermablend Corrective Resurfacing Active Foundation 16HR and Fluid Corrective Foundation 16HR – Both of these are great for covering acne or scarring, redness, blemishes. I’m happy I had the chance to try both although the first one is too thick for me, it’s just heavy and difficult to work with on my skin, it feels more like a mousse and the shades look a bit too dark. The fluid one is a foundation I’m thinking about getting full size of because it’s really easy to use, it has great coverage although I don’t usually wear such high coverage bases and it just hides everything I would want to hide when I have bad skin days;
Dior Forever Cushion – I love Dior Forever range, the Forever fluid foundation is my all-time favourite foundation, it’s brilliant and I can talk about it for days. Its cushion for came in handy during my travels, it has different texture but it’s still long-lasting. You can read more here but the only thing I didn’t like is the fact that it didn’t last very long. It’s quite pricey and I like that you can purchase a refill but I wish it lasted longer;
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – I think this is a second tube of this mascara I’ve used up although it’s not my favourite one. And that is simply because the formula is too wet for my taste. I don’t hate it, I quite like it because it makes my lashes fluttery but there’s just something missing;
Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara Ultra BlackBourjois have amazing mascaras and this is great one, it gives me volume, separation, length and it’s super black;

Body Products

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Shower Gel and Body Lotion Travel Duo – I love the fragrance, I have several of its variations and this mini duo was part of a set along with the perfume. The whole bathroom remained fragranced with this beautiful scent every time I used the two products and I really enjoyed the experience;
KICKS Lemongrass Sugar Scrub with Argan Oil – One of my favourite body scrubs. In case you want to read more about it, take a look at this blog post;
Yves Rocher Cranberry and Almond Body Lotion – This body lotion was part of the brand’s Christmas collection last year and it took me a long time to use it up because I always seemed to find myself applying other body moisturisers. Not that I didn’t like this one but it can be a bit too light sometimes when my skin is more dry and dehydrated;
Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Body Lotion SPF 30 – This is my second bottle of this sunscreen, I loved using it every summer morning when I had to go out in the garden and take care of the kitties we adopt. Most of them have health issues and summer is the best time to enjoy some outdoor activities with the little cuties. This sunscreen is physical, so I don’t need to wait for it to work after 20 or more minutes. I just apply it and I’m good to go. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it stains my clothes a bit;
Alverde Calendula Hand Cream – I picked up this hand cream randomly one day because my hands felt really dry and I was passing by a drugstore. It ended up being pretty nice, I love calendula products because they are very soothing and also antiseptic. The tube is quite small, so it’s also great for the handbag;
L’Occitane Pivoine Flora Hand Cream – Another miniature hand cream. I love L’Occitane hand creams and Peony scent is my favourite along with their Cherry Blossom one because they are delicate and feminine. The texture of their creams is lightweight but nourishing and absorbs quickly while the fragrance lingers around the whole room around you.

These are my recent empties and I hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday!

February Favourites

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There were a few spring days in February which makes me quite happy because it means winter will be over soon. It’s been definitely a long and pretty cold one.

I finally have my own domain and I’m planning on doing more changes in future but I always prefer to do something first and then talk about it, so please keep your fingers crossed for me!

On to the beauty favourites now. I always like to try different micellar waters because it’s my preferred product for taking off makeup, so that I can cleanse properly afterwards. I’ve been using the Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water for the past few months and I really like it. It removes makeup pretty well while it feels gentle on the skin, it’s not sticky or drying and it’s budget-friendly.

The lipstick I’ve been loving in the month of February has been Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipstick in the shade 410 Dynamic. If you’re wondering why the packaging looks different, it’s because I got it in a Christmas set. The formula is moisturising, creamy and easy to work with, the colour is opaque and lasts for about 3-4 hours on me. It browny pink and reminds me very much of my favourite Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 23 Blush Pop (you can see a swatch here) but this one is a bit warmer. The shade is beautiful and sophisticated-looking, I can’t wait for the new ones to be released soon.

I’m in love with my night hand cream. I use it at night because it smells just like This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, it’s so relaxing and calming. I got the Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream with a magazine in London and I regret not getting more. The formula is enriched with Shea Butter and Lanolin, it feels soothing and hydrating. I really like that it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy film, bonus is that the scent makes me fall asleep easier.

This giant bottle of the limited edition Jeremyville for Kiehl’s Crème de Corps has a great design, a handy pump and 500 ml of one of the best body moisturisers. I also use this product as a hand lotion after washing my hands (which is like a hundred times a day) and applying it is my favourite ritual before going to bed because it feels really soft on my winter skin. The texture is rich but not greasy or heavy, it does take a couple of minutes to absorb but it’s totally worth it. This is the only moisturiser that could transform my elbows completely in the most freezing winter ever, they are now baby soft and I’m not even exaggerating. If you haven’t tried it, pick up a sample.

Here we’ve come to the last but not least and certainly the hardest product to talk about today. And it’s not because it’s a fragrance and I’m not so good at describing fragrances but because it is Tom Ford Black Orchid. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and it is either a hate or an endless love but if I have to use one word to describe it, it would be timeless. I don’t know if I should say more because no words would do justice to this masterpiece, so just go and give it a sniff, if you haven’t already. I fell in love with it by just opening the cap and that was it.

These are my most-loved beauty products during February. Now I’m ready for sunnier days…

Beauty Gift Ideas for Him and Her | Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is about a week away and there are tons of ways to surprise your partner. Actually, love should be celebrated more often. For us, it’s different every year on this day. This year we won’t be even in the same country but I get so spoiled with beauty gifts on a daily basis that I much prefer having an experience that we both could enjoy. Like going to the theatre, for example or to a concert, or maybe a football game, a trip, a weekend getaway…just whatever you fancy (to be fair, I’d love all of the mentioned).

However, I wanted to try to include a few gift ideas here that the men around me and I think you can’t go wrong with if you’ve decided to surprise your partner with a beauty present.

For Her
That’s the easiest, considering all brands are just releasing their spring makeup collections and you can choose from so many limited edition products that will make the whole experience even better.

But I always like to include at least one skincare product that anyone would love and I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II in such blog post before. This is the 30 ml mini which is still pricey but also a good way to try the serum and I honestly don’t know a lady who doesn’t want to have this one in her skincare stash. The mini is often available in different sets, as well, so you can actually get a better deal and more products for your loved one. The other skincare item I’d like to mention is Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, it’s a classic and it’s lovely because it has a light texture but gives a great amount of moisture and is suitable even for sensitive skin.
If you want to get a lipstick, the NARS Audacious range is the one to go for. There are so many shades to choose from and probably your special one already has a list of at least five desired colours from the series. I love Anita and I think it would look amazing on many skin tones (review and swatches here).
Fragrances are really individual but if your loved one likes a bit more dark and rich scents, the timeless Black Orchid from Tom Ford would be a great choice. If you’re looking for a sweeter perfume, I think the latest release from Guerlain‘s La Petite Robe Noire family would be a nice idea (review here).

For Him
The men around me are not that much into beauty but they like being taken care of just like everyone, so I wanted to feature this No7 Men Energising Face Wash and Energising Moisturiser with SPF15 duo because sun protection is important for all of us, men, women, children and I know men would often skip this step and not think about it. Of course, you can get the products separately, they are suitable for sensitive skin, as well.
Everyone appreciates a good travel set and Clarins Men definitely know how to do a great one. They often have deluxe sizes of their face wash, eye balm, shaving balm and moisturisers in a handy bag and I always wonder how they manage to put so many items in such small bags, it’s amazing.
A shower gel may seem a bit boring but I know many men who love their shower gels and would like to receive one as a gift. I don’t think you can go wrong with this Dior Homme Shower Gel, it has a light texture and the bathroom smells amazing afterwards.
I always try to learn which fragrance a man likes, so that I can get something else from the same range for him that he wouldn’t get for himself. That was the case with this Chanel Bleu de Chanel After Shave Lotion, I knew my brother liked the perfume, so this was a nice accompaniment to  it. The lotion feels refreshing and has a clean and crisp scent, they also have a balm version if you’re looking for something more hydrating.
Speaking of perfumes, this is probably the most difficult part just because all the men around me like different types of scents. Some prefer fresh smells, others want much darker and deeper ones and so on but the majority of them like Dior Sauvage because it’s spicy but fresh at the same time and just noble. My dad always gets compliments when he wears it and everyone around him asks all the time what his fragrance is.

I also wanted to mention a few non-beauty and unisex gifts in a way, simply because me and my boyfriend love getting candles for our flat, for example. When we are choosing a candle together, we often go for deeper scents but in general, my boyfriend has a great taste when it comes to scents, no matter if he is looking for something for a woman, a man or someone’s home, he just has the best taste. I don’t actually have one of our candles here but I love WoodWick candles because of their scents and also, the way they sound like a tiny fireplace is amazing. We also love chocolate, so this selection of Baileys pralines will be demolished in seconds. And finally, something I’ve mentioned a lot but I just can’t miss to share my love for Teapigs tea one more time. I think there is a flavour and type for everyone, the whole family loves them, my friends love them, I adore them.

No matter what you’ll be doing this Valentine’s day, I wish you a lovely one. Be loved and don’t forget to tell your dear people how much you love them as often as possible.