Tag Archives: loreal

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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Budget Beauty Heroes

I realised that sometimes it may seem like I don’t reach for drugstore makeup very often but that’s not true. However, the reasons why it looks like this are mainly two. First one being the fact that there aren’t many drugstore brands on the Norwegian beauty market and second, the prices of drugstore and high-end makeup in the country can be very similar. That’s why I tend to go for the high-end option most of the time but I love browsing through the drugstore aisles whenever I travel. You can find amazing jems like my favourite blush, for example, or a really good eyebrow pencil.

One of the best affordable makeup products has to be the L’Oréal Infallible 24H-Matte Foundation. It’s very difficult for me to find a base that I really like (not only at the drugstore but in general) and I’m happy this product is another budget option because I’ve been using Bourjois 123 CC Cream for years now and nothing else came close to it. They are totally different products when it comes to consistency and finish but they both earned my love. L’Oréal Infallible 24H-Matte Foundation has a great coverage and hides my redness really well, it does last very long on me although I still need to blot during the day which means it doesn’t stay totally matte. Actually, I like that it doesn’t sit too flat and heavy, it’s quite comfortable to wear, it’s easy to apply, I use a makeup sponge but on weekends I tend to mix this foundation with my moisturiser and apply it with fingers.

I’ve mentioned Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in the shade 10 Nude Mauve so many times that I even included it in my 2016 favourites. It’s the perfect blush for me, the whole range is brilliant but this shade in particular doubles up as a bronzer, gives a healthy glow thanks to the beautiful and subtle sheen (there’s no sparkle or glitter) and there is no way to overdo it even if you’re heavy-handed like me.

As you may see, I need a new pot of the Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder. I’ve been using this powder for over 3 years now and this is probably my 6th one of it, I simply love how finely-milled it is and how it keeps me shine-free for hours but gives my face radiance at the same time. Years ago it was really hard to find a good drugstore powder, there are now much more budget face powders that are pretty good but this one remains the best one for me along with Rimmel Stay Matte.

The beauty product that I almost never change is definitely my eyebrow pencil. As if I stopped looking for brow pencils after I found the Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil. It’s really precise and easy to work with, so you can form a defined brow or you can make it look natural and undone which, in my opinion, is very difficult to achieve with brow pencils.

There are a ton of amazing affordable lipsticks out there and it’s really hard for me to pick just one and say it’s the best drugstore choice. But there is one lipstick I wear so often that it somehow isn’t mentioned enough. Essence Longlasting Lipstick in the shade 05 Cool Nude (you can see a swatch in my Love for Nude Lipsticks post) may seem a bit boring in the bullet but once it’s applied on the lips it transforms into the most beautiful muted rosy shade that would suit many skin tones. It doesn’t last that long but it’s really comfortable to wear, I don’t even need a mirror to apply it, it’s not drying and the brand has such a wide range of lipstick shades and finishes that you would grab more than one.

These are some of my budget makeup stars and perhaps, it would be interesting to do a skincare version of this post. What do you think?

Empties #12

20170304_120507postWe’re already in March and this is actually my first post with empty products for 2017. There are some huge favourites of mine that I’ve used up and now I’m really missing them.

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Skincare and Makeup Products

KICKS Clearing Mud Mask – That’s a second tube of this mask after the first one was sent to me to try. It has Salycilic Acid in it, it’s purifying, washes off easily and the price is good, as well;
Kaufmanns Haut-und-Kinder-Creme  – Another tube of one of my favourite multipurpose moisturisers. It’s now a staple for me, it saves my lips and knuckles in the winter;
Superdrug Clearly Youthful Resurfacing Night Serum – Unfortunately, this comes in a really small size and I didn’t pick up another bottle of it from the UK. A fantastic budget serum with Lactic Acid  that makes my skin look brighter and clearer;
Balea Vital Intensive SerumBalea seem to know how to do good budget serums, too. They always have pumps and feel incredibly nourishing and soothing;
Clinique Superdefense Night Recovery Moisturiser – That’s my second jar of this night cream and it’s one of my favourite ones, I’ve spoken a lot about it but here’s the full review in case you want to know more;
REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist – I believe this is my second bottle of this mist, as well. I love facial mists and I adore this one. I have detailed information about it here, I love using it before makeup, on top of makeup, on days when I don’t wear makeup, it’s refreshing, hydrating and protecting;
Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate – This mini was great for travelling, the purchase was inspired by mum who loves it and uses it as a serum or just as an additional step to add a bit more moisture and care to the skin;
Tromborg Multivitamin Facial Mask – This was just a sample but it was enough for me to know the mask is amazing. It feels light on the skin, it’s a gel and at first you think it doesn’t do much but when you wash it off, you’re left with a lovely glow, the pores look diminished and the complexion in general is fresher and healthier;
Sephora Pomegranate Sleeping Mask – I love these masks, they seem small but I can use them up to 6-7 times. I don’t like them for travelling, though because you can’t store them and keep them fresh. This mask makes my skin tone a bit more even and fresh-looking;
Sephora Ginseng Eye Mask – The eye masks are lovely, as well, refreshing and soothing;
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks – These ones contain a lot of serum in the bags which I tend to pour into travel pots and use it under my regular eye cream. The patches feel cooling and hydrating and I love them, wish they were more affordable;
Purederm Collagen Eye Zone Mask – Eye masks enriched with Collagen, Vitamin E and Green Tea Extract that brighten the area under my eyes. The serum absorbs really quickly after removing the patches, it feels refreshing and I’ll be repurchasing these;
Purederm Collagen Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes – It’s quite interesting how I really dislike facial wet wipes and use them only when I travel, yet I have at least a pack of empty ones in every post like this one. The collagen ones must be my least favourite of all Purederm I’ve tried, they just seem to not remove makeup that well and feel a bit more harsh on the skin. I’d stick to the tea tree ones;
L’Occitane x Pierre Hermé Paris Pamplemousse Rhubarbe  Lip Balm – You may already know I have a soft spot for L’Occitane limited edition lip balms. This one was a memory of our trip to Munich around Christmas holidays and this is one more reason to love it;
Avène Cicalfate Repair Cream – I have a full review on this product here. It can be used on face and body and helped me against the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation I tend to get quite often;
Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover – A travel mini of a cult classic, you can’t go wrong with this one;
L’Oréal Skin Perfection Perk-up Cream and Eye Care – That’s a great duo if you want a tinted moisturiser for your face and under the eyes because they even out the skin tone but also have skincare benefits. It looks lovely once applied on the skin and it was actually mum who got me into these;
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – I have mixed feelings towards this mascara maybe because I had really high hopes considering how many people compare it to Benefit’s Roller Lash. I quite like how fluttery it makes my eyelashes look…when it’s near the time to throw it in the bin. The rest of the time, the formula is just too wet, it doesn’t give me the separation, volume and curl that Roller Lash provides and I’m not so sure if I love it;
La Roche-Posay Respectissime Volume Mascara – On the other hand, this is a brilliant mascara that I want to find a full size of. It gives a similar to the YSL Effet Faux Cills look and doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes;
Essence Mini Lipgloss – These are some of the loveliest affordable glosses and the mini was given to me by a dear friend, I love the colour and it was nice having it in my hand luggage during my travels;
Dior DIORSKIN Forever Perfect Skin-Perfecting Foundation SPF 35 – The best foundation for my skin type, I’m actually quite sad that I’ve used it up because I don’t seem to have a backup. You can read my full review on it here;
Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer – Not sure how many times I’ve spoken about it and how many tubes I’ve used up but you can find my thoughts on it here;
Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector SPF 20 – I use it on its own or as a primer and I like how it evens out the skin tone and makes everything look smoother and natural.

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Body and Hair Products

Lumene Cloudberry Hand Cream – The same dear friend of mine gave it to me and I couldn’t thank her enough! This is such a hydrating hand cream and at the same time doesn’t feel greasy on the hands. The scent is subtle, so it can be used by men, too;
Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream – All the hand creams I use up are ones I love and this has a great orange scent combined with wonderful moisturising properties;
The Body Shop Frosted Plum Hand Cream – Reminds me of cosy winter days that were not so long ago, actually. The scent is not too overpowering and the cream is very nice itself but I wish it wasn’t limited edition;
Yves Rocher Pear & Cocoa Hand Cream – I really like the brand’s hand creams and when a Christmas scent is added, I’m in love. Now that I’m smelling it again, I wish I took more of it during the holidays;
Yves Rocher Pear & Cocoa Bath & Shower Gel – The corresponding body wash was amazing, as well. I love that scent wasn’t too overpowering or sweet but still remained different and special;
Yves Rocher Almond Orange Blossom Relaxing Shower Oil – I never knew the brand had shower oils! I really enjoyed this one, it feels gentle on the skin, it’s not really foamy, it has a slightly herbal scent which I personally like and I really want to try more;
L’Oréal Arginine Resist Double Elixir Express Conditioner – I always use leave-in conditioners, I just love them and these spray ones are quite easy to use. Plus, in the winter my hair tends to get a bit more flyaways and knots than usual and this product did a pretty good job at helping me with that;
L’Oréal Elseve Nutri-Gloss Shampoo – When it comes to shampoos, I go through so many so quickly that I don’t even look in details what’s in stores at the moment. That’s why I tend to go for the ones I know like this one here that makes my hair really shiny and clean;
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Fluide – It has a light texture that feels soothing and nourishing, the pump is really handy and I’d purchase it again;
L’Occitane Foot Cream – This mini came in the brand’s advent calendar and it helped me a lot during the freezing winter nights because I woke up to the softest feet on the next morning. I might need a full size of it;
L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Shimmering Lotion – The range is probably my favourite of all L’Occitane ones but this lotion is too shimmery for my taste, so it was nice trying it but I would stick to the cherry blossom body wash, hand cream and the fragrance;
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – I’m not sure if it really helps you sleep better but the scent is definitely relaxing and calming.

This is everything I’ve used up lately, now I’m off to make a list with what I need to repurchase.

2016 Beauty Favourites

20161230_115800postHappy New Year! I really hope 2017 will be much much better, happier and healthier than 2016! Wish all of you and your families a wonderful year filled with joy and love!

It is now time to start talking about some annual beauty favourites. This year, I decided to form only two categories: skincare and makeup.

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There are two cleansers I’ve been really loving, both were released in the second half of the year, one is my morning cleanser and then the one that I like using in the evening. Bioderma Sensibio Gel Moussant is a really gentle face wash suitable even for sensitive skin. It feels refreshing and soothing at the same time. You can read my full review on it here. This is a mini of my Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam and you can see what the original size looks like here. I wouldn’t say it’s a foam, it’s more of a cleansing cream that has milky texture once it’s in contact with the skin. I love the calming scent and how delicate it feels on my skin, it’s just so moisturising but purifying at the same time.
My love for toners and face mists is no secret and it was really hard for me to choose which one to include here, so I decided to mention two of my favourite mists. I’ve already used up a few bottles of the REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist (review here) because it’s refreshing and can be used before or after putting makeup but also, it protects against environmental aggressors with Zinc and Manganese Amino Acids to track down free radicals and protect skin from oxidative stress. La Roche-Posay Serozinc is my choice when it comes to taking care of my combination skin. It mattifies it without being drying and heals blemishes quicker than usual. I always stock up on this mist whenever I’m in London.
The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is still my number 1 hydrating mask, it’s just the best!
L’Oréal Pure-Clay Masks* are my absolute favourites when it comes to purifying face masks. Not only they are easy to get because you can find them at the drugstore but they are incredibly good. You can read all about my experience here because I just can’t pick one to talk about.
Another great find from the drugstore is this Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum. It’s my second bottle of it, it comes with a pump, the formula contains hydrating and soothing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E and leaves my skin moisturised without feeling sticky or greasy.
My morning and evening moisturising duo must be from Clinique. I’m sure everybody knows about their Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief* but I don’t see many people talking about the Clinique Superdefense Night Recovery Moisturiser (review here). This is my second pot of the cream after I was sent one when it launched at the beginning of the year and I can’t recommend it enough. I remember how dry and irritated my skin was in the winter in Norway and this moisturiser completely transformed it.
I had to mention La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] Unifiant which I reviewed here because it has the same properties like Duo [+] but with a tint and provides pretty good coverage that evens out my complexion and makes me look a bit more healthy.
Last but not least in this skincare category is my favourite multi-purpose moisturiser. Weleda Skin Food is a gem and the whole family loves it. It’s soothing, it’s moisturising, the formula contains plant oils and extracts, it smells clean and it’s simply lovely.

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Makeup Products

This category has to start with my favourite foundation, Dior DIORSKIN Forever Perfect Skin-Perfecting Foundation SPF 35 (review here). It has great coverage but looks natural, it mattifies my skin but also makes it radiant, it lasts all day and I haven’t found a better foundation since I first tried it.
The best concealer I found in 2016 is a drugstore one. It’s from Aura and it’s called Correct Me! Concealer. I use it under the eyes and around the face because it’s pigmented and creamy, the shade range is really good for an affordable brand but the downside is, it can’t be found in many countries.
The new Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel* is my favourite brow product for last year although I’ve been using for just about a month. It creates full and natural-looking brows, fills in the sparse areas and lasts all day.
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in the shade 10 Nude Mauve is a lovely blush that can be used as a bronzer, as well or just to add this healthy pop of colour to the complexion that we always need. It’s luminous and finely-milled, it’s simply beautiful.
My favourite highlighter for 2016 is without a doubt the Urban Decay Afterglow 8-hour Powder Highlighter in the shade Sin* from their summer collection. It’s a gorgeous champagne shade, you can see it swatched here and it’s quite a strong one but the texture is so creamy that you can control the intensity.
There are three palettes I’ve been loving in 2016: an eyeshadow palette, a face palette and a lip one. The We Care Icon I Love Tigers Nude Palette is from a Finnish brand and it’s my most-used one maybe because I don’t wear that much eye makeup in my everyday life but these eyeshadows just add a little something to the whole look. You can read my post on the palette here.
I know that this Estée Lauder Summer Glow Multi-Palette* (review and swatches here) was a limited edition for the summer season but it’s still available on some places, so it’s not impossible to find it. The texture of all three products is soft and fine, the shades look natural on the skin and I loved using the palette in the summer on my face but also, on my eyes.
Travel-friendly products are something I always appreciate and that’s one of the reasons why I love L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Lips in Nudeso much. It’s elegant, it has a mirror, the shade selection is brilliant and I often end up mixing shades to create a custom one.
Speaking of lip products, I knew they would take the biggest part of my makeup favourites but I couldn’t help it. Dior Addict Lip Glow in 005 Lilac (review here) has been the one colour I really wanted and they finally launched it at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, it was a limited edition but I see they will be soon releasing a Berry shade!
The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector family welcomed two new members in the spring, 07 Toffee Pink Shimmer, a beautiful dusky rose colour and 08 Plum Shimmer, a muted berry shade. I’ve mentioned multiple times how much I love these balms and the new shades are just perfect to have in your handbag.
I remember how excited I was when I learned about the Lancôme Juicy Shakers. I love the brand’s products, I adore Lisa Eldridge and I wasn’t disappointed by these tinted lip oils. I have a whole post dedicated to them here.
NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita (review here) is the most beautiful vintage rose shade I’ve ever seen. It’s flattering, it’s sophisticated, feels comfortable on the lips and will always remind me of the most wonderful holiday in Rome me and my boyfriend had.
There are some amazing shades in the Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Lip Colour range. I love that the colour is buildable and you can control how intense you want it to be, the formula is lightweight and luminous and the scent is beautiful.
One of the latest and best lipstick releases in 2016 came from MAC and their Liptensity* range. The colours are bold, saturated and unique, the formula is creamy and long-lasting and I love how the packaging is colour-coded.
I also wanted to mention the cute L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume that I always have in my handbag even if it’s winter because it makes me think of sunny days, the scent is beautiful and it’s easy to top up your fragrance with it.

These are most of my favourite products for last year but before I leave, I would like to wish you to be safe, happy, loved and may the new year bring us all amazing days!

*PR Samples

November Favourites

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Can’t be the only one that is already fascinated by all the Christmas beauty sets, the lights and the hot drinks, the atmosphere… But before we really start getting into the holiday spirit, I wanted to share with you my favourite products for the month of November.

This time it will be a bit skincare-heavy, thanks to the temperatures below 0. There have been a couple of weeks when I had to go to the doctor’s every morning. It was a big challenge for me and my skin but that is how I found out which skincare bits work really well for me.

The mornings usually start with the new Bioderma Sensibio Gel Moussant which I’ve been using for about three weeks now and will be preparing a blog post on it. The texture of this face wash really reminds me of the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser, it is so gentle on the skin and leaves it clean but somehow soft and hydrated. I can’t say if it removes make-up well because it’s my morning cleanser but I love how it’s not really foamy and doesn’t strip my skin. Great for all year round but especially during the colder months.

I’ve mentioned this Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum before but the day I ran out of it, I realised how amazing it was. It contains Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E , makes my skin smooth and hydrates it really well, preparing it for the rest of my skincare routine. Actually, I’ve used it as a serum, moisturiser and make-up base many times in the past few weeks which has helped me get ready in a few minutes but without sacrificing my skin’s hydration.

Then I’d apply the Estée Lauder Genuine Glow Priming Moisture Eye Balm*. It just works great as a base for my concealer. I have really dark circles and this product smoothes out the delicate skin under my eyes, gives me a bit of brightness and hydration and makes me look a bit more awake.

My evening rituals often involve applying a face mask because it’s relaxing and also great for the skin. I’ve done a full review on all three L’Oréal Pure-Clay Masks here but the one that I’m using the most is the Glow Mask*. It’s a purifying face mask but also makes my skin incredibly radiant and healthy-looking. Plus, it’s suggested that you can get 10 uses from the pot but I’ve already used it more than 10 times and it’s still half full.

I love Dior glosses because they’re moisturising and not too shiny and sticky on the lips. Dior Addict Lip Maximizer is a very popular product that I didn’t think I needed until I saw mum using it all the time. Her lips looked naturally smoother and a bit fuller (sadly, none of us has the fullest lips) but she didn’t even notice. She just enjoys using it on its own or before applying lipstick because it has a delicate vanilla-mint scent and a sheer pink tint. I love that it has cooling effect and feels comfortable on the lips.

Yves Rocher never fail to suprise me with their holiday ranges because the scents they create are still winter-appropriate but they’re not the typical Christmas fragrances we all know. I picked up a few of the new products but what I use the most is their Pear & Cocoa Hand Cream, it has a warm and sweet scent, the texture of the cream is very light yet moisturising and doesn’t leave my hands sticky. The whole family enjoys using the Cranberry & Almond Hand Wash, it smells lovely and doesn’t dry out the hands. I might be going back for their holiday body sprays.

These are my most-loved beauty bits this month, I’m already excited for December!

*PR Samples