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What I Found in Poland | Sephora, Pharmacy, Drugstore


We spent a few days in Gdansk last week and I really enjoyed the chilled atmosphere there. It was such a breath of fresh air to see so many friendly and kind people in one place, I actually can’t wait to go back one day.
They also had a fantastic variety of pharmacy, drugstore and high-end skincare and makeup products but I tried my best to go minimal this time. I’ve accumulated so many items that I feel like a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to use them all up, so I basically got only what I’ve been curious about for a long time.

One of these things was prescription strength Azelaic Acid. I’ve been a fan of the acid for years, it has anti-inflammatory properties, it shows great results in cases of rosacea, melasma and acne and brightens the skin complexion. I see some results with my products with 10% Azelaic Acid content but I’ve never tried the prescription strength ones that are typically of 15% – 20% concentration. It turned out that such concentration can be found in products sold over the counter in Poland.   They didn’t have the 15% ones but I got the Polish Acne-Derm Cream and  probably the most popular Azelaic Acid treatment, Skinoren Cream (they also had a gel version and one for rosacea). They both have 20% Azelaic Acid concentration and I can’t wait to incorporate them into my skincare routine.

And speaking of acids, I found many Asian brands at the drugstore, so I picked up the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner. It suggests that it has anti-acne purpose but I believe that the low 0.50% Salicylic Acid content can have just a bit of a pore-refining effect and not really help with acne, Salicylic Acid is great for my skin, so I’m looking forward to see if this toner  would show some improvement on my combination skin.
They also had several Hada Labo products which looked quite unusual to me, as I’m used to seeing them in different bottles and in Europe they have  another look. Although, I wanted to grab several from the shelf, I limited myself to the Anti-Ageing Lotion Super Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen & Retinol which  is described as a very lightweight facial moisturiser. I tried it a couple of times and it feels really nice and indeed light on the skin but I think I’d prefer using it as a serum and then seal it with a moisturiser on top. To be fair, I can’t remember if I’ve seen this product before in its original packaging.

A Polish pharmacy brand caight my attention with a product, apparently very popular in the country, labelled a bestseller. The brand is called Iwostin and it looked like the whole Purritin range was rather famous among the people there but I got only the Active Cream because it contains a rather interesting blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Retinly Palmitate, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Malic Acid and Salicylic Acid. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried it yet, as I’m currently testing out other products and I don’t want to overdo it with the acids but as soon as I have a more detailed view on it, I’ll share my experience.

I was surprised to see an incredibly big range of Neutrogena products, don’t think I’ve seen so many items from the brand in one place ever. It was hard for me to pick just one but I promised myself to not go overboard like always and chose the Hydro Boost Quenching Body Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to have such a strong scent but the texture is really light and abosrbs quickly, so it would probably be a great body moisturiser in the warmer months, as well.

As a person who’s always on the hunt for the best concealer, seeing the popular Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer, got me excited. Finding a shade  was the tricky part, as the lighting in the store was pretty bad and the testers were basically all of the same three shades while the range was much wider. I still don’t know if I made the right choice but will  find out soon.

It was rainy and snowy in Poland and my lips got pretty chapped, so I was looking for something to hydrate them but to also give me a bit of a natural tint. I knew that Fenty Beauty had just released their latest Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in the shade FU$$Y that looked very nice and I noticed that there was only one left at Sephora (later I went to different Sephora stores and it was sold out everywhere), so I grabbed it and to be fair, I haven’t stopped wearing it since then. I’m not a big lip gloss fan but this has to be one of the most comfortable glosses to wear. It also feels quite nourishing, thanks to the Shea Butter in it. It makes the lips look smoother, it’s not too glittery, it’s semi-sheer, leaves a slight tint, feels lightweight and it’s not sticky at all.
Then I went to the section with the minis which is my favourite part at Sephora and noticed this The #1 Essential Lip Tints Trio from Lanolips. I love the brand, their ointment is saving me in the winter but I’ve never tried their tinted lip balms that also have SPF30. All 3 shades look beautiful and I already gave one to my mum.
The last mini set I got from Sephora is the Givenchy My Mini Magic Lip Duo. This is my first time trying lip products from Givenchy, they’re very popular and the miniatures don’t look as luxe as the original size but I’m actually curious about the product in the bullet rather than the packaging itself. One of them is the 3-in-1 Lip Balm, Moisturiser, Plumper, Colour Enhancer and the other one is the Black Lipstick that reacts to the lips pH for a custom look. It sounds like a bit of a gimmick but as a lip balm lover, I think they would be a nice addition to my handbag in the winter.

And last but certainly not least, L’Occitane have brought back their rose-scented lip balm! I already showed you part of their collaboration with Castelbajac on my Instagram and what I was missing was exactly the Wonderful Rose Lip Balm. I had a rose-scented lip balm from them more than 5 years ago and I loved it but it was part of another limited edition collection. I’m so happy they brough it back, unfortunately, they didn’t have it available as an individual product, so I had to get the set that also includes the Wonderful Rose Hand Cream which I alread had but you can never have too many hand creams, especially when they’re from L’Occitane.

I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve been slowing down the beauty shopping lately, I still have a lot to work on because I simply love trying new products and it’s hard to resist when every brand releases new items all the time. However, I’d like to focus on what I really like and share more in-depth reviews on the products and simply to enjoy using them.

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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!