Tag Archives: facial oil

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.


Drugstore Skincare Update | Autumn 2016

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?

Shopping my Mum’s Stash

DSC_1044postDSC_0002postDSC_0004postDSC_0006postMy life has changed a lot in the past couple of years and I don’t get to see my family as often as I would want to, so I love catching up with them and just spending time together.

After we’ve cried our eyes out, me and my mum proceed to much more fun activities…like browsing through each other’s beauty products. We have similar taste in make-up but our skin types are quite different. I really wanted to show you some of my mum’s favourite beauty bits because here on my blog, I’m talking mostly about products suitable for combination/oily skin but would be interesting to mention dry skin appropriate care, as well.

A significant part of mine and mum’s beauty products are gifts from my boyfriend because first, we’re lucky and he knows what is nice for us and has a great taste and second, he travels a lot and has access to amazing travel exclusives. Like this 100 ml bottle of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II. It never seemed to be good for my skin, I got bad breakouts while using it but it’s a miracle worker for mum’s dry skin. She feels her skin much more hydrated, it looks fresher, smoother and more radiant. It’s now mum’s favourite step of her evening skincare routine.

A facial oil that she’s been loving in the past few months is from Alverde, a drugstore brand that uses ingredients from certified organic agriculture, their products are without silicones, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances and dyes. This particular Wild Rose Facial Oil is also vegan. The oil is suitable for dry skin and I’m quite sad the brand hasn’t released different ones for all skin types because I’d love to try a combination skin one. Mum is using this oil in the evening and on the next day, her skin looks more plump and healthy. It’s actually a great oil and I can’t believe how low the price is for such an amazing ingredients list and properties. I love the texture of this product and the subtle rose scent, once again, wish they had an oil for my skin type.

One of mum’s favourite day moisturisers is Clarins HydraQuench Cream. She fell in love with it after using a sample and now she’s always having at least one mini tube because she finds it more comfortable than the jar and she can carry it around with her. The cream is lightweight, it sinks into the skin really well but gives a great amount of hydration without leaving a greasy residue. My mum also says that it feels soothing on the skin and she loves using this cream in the winter.

She doesn’t use Sanctuary SPA Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser every day but she likes cleansing her face with it after a long day because she says it’s very relaxing. She usually takes off her make-up with some kind of make-up remover or micellar water and then she continues with this cleanser. The texture seems quite thick and balm-like and we both think it wouldn’t be appropriate for more oily skin types but she loves it on her dry skin. She feels her skin clean and soft after using this product and it definitely looks more radiant.

I’ve also featured a few make-up bits but we have so many similar make-up items that I decided to keep it short and sweet.
It seems me and my mum, both have a thing for Clinique mascaras at the moment and I can’t wait to share with you my favourite one right now. But mum is currently loving their Hight Impact Mascara and I have to mention that we like different type of wands. She loves bristle brushes while I prefer rubber ones and the only mascara that we both like is Benefit‘s Roller Lash.

When it comes to Soap & Glory and their Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil and Brush in Hot Chocolate, we are on the same page. It’s one of our favourite brow pencils and this product is not available in both of the countries we live in, so it’s pretty frustrating. Not to mention that whenever I’m in London, our shade is always sold out and can’t even stock up on it. Big love for this brow pencil but pretty tough for us to get it.

Speaking of London, I was browsing through the nail polish displays at Superdrug once and saw this Rimmel Salon PRO Nail Polish in the shade Grape Sorbet and I immediately thought of mum. It looked so much like the shades that she was wearing when I was a child and was always thinking how sophisticated it seemed because it wasn’t too dark or too pink, it was just ‘her’ nail polish shade, a lovely muted cyclamen colour. And I knew that they have Rimmel here but surprise, they never have this shade, so it’s now one of her favourite ones.

I always have so much fun taking a look at mum’s beauty stash and I hope, it was interesting for you, too.

New to my Skincare Routine


As I’ve been on a long holiday here and there, my skincare routine has drastically changed. The products are totally different from what I normally use, they’re less, I’m skipping some steps because of the hot weather but somehow I managed to keep my skin in good condition.

A few of the newly incorporated into my daily regime skincare products are a moisturiser, an eye cream and a facial oil. I want to mention that I’ve been using these products for weeks and not for just a couple of days as I always want to give an honest opinion which takes longer time to be formed when it comes to skincare.

I love using eye gels in the summer because they feel quite cooling and refreshing but I noticed that my eye area got a bit dry in the past few weeks That’s the reason why I switched to a more hydrating eye cream. The Balea Eye Cream with Lotus has a lovely texture, feels light but nourishing, it’s not sticky and it sinks into the skin pretty quickly. I believe it has a new formula as it doesn’t contain perfume (the previous version had pefume in the ingredients), so it should be suitable even for more sensitive eyes and for contact lens wearers like me. The formula contains Vitamin E, Panthenol, Almond, Jojoba, Aloe and Lotus Oils and Caffeine and Vitamin C which are supposed to help against dark circles but as we all know, there isn’t a product that can erase dark circles. It hydrates my eye area really well and the concealer performs better, as well. I’m quite pleased with this affordable product.

Another budget-friendly skincare item is the Alverde Lime & Apple Mattifying Day Cream. At first, the consistency seemed strange to me because it’s runny but feels thick. When I’m applying it on my skin, it feels a bit greasy but then it absorbs fast and looks matte. It doesn’t stay matte all day but it feels pretty light and I think it’s a good product for the summer, I wouldn’t use it in the winter as it won’t be hydrating enough. It has a gentle fruity scent and contains Organic Lime Extract, Organic Apple Water and Shea Butter. I wasn’t sure about the Shea Butter as this ingredient normally breaks me out but so far, I haven’t had any problems with this face cream and the Shea Butter in it. It’s suitable for normal and combination skin and the product is vegan.

Last but not least, a facial oil. It’s a miniature of the Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil* and I use it only in the night although it’s suggested to use it both, day and night. It’s the only nighttime product that I’m currently using and it makes a huge difference even without a moisturiser. I was a bit sceptical at first because it says it’s suitable for any skin type and usually, it’s never suitable for any skin type. Then I realised it’s the most oily oil I’ve ever used and I thought I’d wake up to breakouts but that wasn’t the case. Even weeks later, I still have product left in the mini bottle, my skin is radiant and soft. I had dry patches appearing because of the burning sun but this sorts it out in just a couple of nights. It’s a pricey product but I need just 2-3 drops to cover my whole face and neck.

These are some of my essential summer skincare items this year, have you tried any of them?

*PR Sample

June Favourites

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The month of June is coming to an end  and the last few weeks have been so crazy and exciting for me and the people around me that I’m going to miss it.

Probably, most of you are having a proper summer but for me, it’s just beginning. In this month’s favourites you will see some products that I’ve already featured in a favourites post. It just shows how much I love them and how good they work on my skin. Of course, there are items that I tried for first time and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

I will start with a skincare product combination that has been wonderful for me and it’s the Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Active Concentrate and the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. The first one is basically a serum, it’s very lightweight, contains lactic acid which is perfect for oily or combination skin but lactic acid is also a hydrating acid. It makes my skin soft and smooth, blemish-free and nourished at the same time. I’ve mentioned the Clarins oil hundreds of times (review here), I guess but there’s a reason for this. I’ve said that it balances my skin out and calms it but there is something about using these two products together. My skin looks fresh and radiant and healthy. If I use it every day, I may not see the great results but if I skip a couple of nights or replace them with other products, the next morning my skin doesn’t look so well. Love these together at the moment!

Natural look is my choice most of the time but in the past few weeks I minimised the number of make-up products on my face even more. I was basically using only two lip products – a lip liner topped with a lip balm. I love the muted coral colour of the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Naked*. It gives a hint of colour to make you look fresh but at the same time looks absolutely natural on the lips. I add a bit of lip balm on top and there you have it, a natural and hydrating but long-lasting lip for the day.

Although June wasn’t a warm month in Norway, I was still picking mainly summer nail shades. One of my favourites is from Topshop Nails in Sweet & Elite. I mentioned  that I didn’t like a varnish from their matte nail range but this one is really cute. It’s a pretty pastel purple with amazing formula that goes smoothly and streak-free. I need two coats for an opaque look. Well, it doesn’t last more than two days on my nails but I haven’t found a nail polish that does. I like that it dries pretty fast, as well.

Last but not least is a product that I didn’t like at first. I’m talking about CoLab and their Tokyo Dry Shampoo. Luckily, I found the right way to use it and see results. If you want an instant refresh for your hair, you probably won’t get it with this shampoo. I spray it the night before I’m going somewhere out or several hours before I need results. It just takes time to actually work but once it does, my hair looks and smells really nice.

What have you been loving in the month of June?

*PR Sample