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November Favourites

Just before the festive season officially begins, here’s what I’ve been loving in the month of November.

I haven’t been wearing makeup that often in November, I’ve been travelling quite a bit and with the skin issues that I already had, I really wanted to give my skin a break.

There’s been a new cleanser in my skincare routine and I didn’t expect to love it so much. Mainly because it’s a cream cleanser and the texture is quite thick. At the moment, anything that is too creamy or balmy, makes me think it might clog my pores even more. But the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is so gentle and feels so lovely on the skin that my initial fear was instantly gone. I have to mention that I don’t use it to remove makeup, so I can’t say if it works or not. This face wash doesn’t break me out, it doesn’t dry out my skin, it’s fragrance- and sulphate-free, mild and simply beautiful even on sensitive skin. It lathers up quite a bit but it’s not stripping my skin, at all, I’ve been using it twice a day in the past 3-4 weeks and I can see my skin is a lot calmer although I went from a place with hard water to one with soft water and that always makes a difference. However, now that I’m using Differin and this cleanser works so well with it, I’m happy I need just a tiny amount of it because it’s not that easy to order it from where I am. All credit goes to my amazing boyfriend who purchased it for me!

Hydrating my skin with lightweight products is very important for me at the moment. I need them to feel light on my face but as the weather gets colder and colder, they still need to be really moisturising. So, I went  back to what I’ve loved and used and I remembered how much I liked using the Lancôme Énergie De Vie The Liquid Care last year (I have a full review here). I purchased a new bottle of it and I’m happy I did because it’s been feeling really calming and soothing on my face. I used to use it as a moisturiser last year but now I apply it at the serum stage of my routine. I usually do my evening skincare routine 30 minutes after I’ve washed my face and applied the Differin Gel that feels quite drying and tight. Lancôme Énergie De Vie The Liquid Care is the first step after Differin and it’s really calming and hydrating.

If I’m wearing makeup now, it’s usually just mascara, concealer, powder and lipstick. The lipstick I’ve been reaching for the most is this mini Role Play by Marc Jacobs. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this shade for so long that I can’t stop using it now. It’s a rose pink nude that isn’t too dark or too light, it’s the perfect pink for me. The texture is quite interesting, it’s not like a traditional lipstick but isn’t too balmy either. It’s a gel lipstick that is pretty opaque but really easy to apply. It feels moisturising and I’m simply in love with it.

Another beauty item I’ve been trying to find for months, has been the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, as I’m always on the hunt for the best concealer. Now that I finally have it, I’m pleased to say it’s totally worth the hype! It has a soft texture that is not too creamy but it’s definitely not drying or thick. It’s very easy to blend it with my fingers and I love how I  can use it under my eyes or around the face. It doesn’t crease that easily and it doesn’t sit cakey or heavy. It’s matte but not too matte or flat on the skin, coverage is medium to full and buildable. Colour selection is great but the most popular shades are always out of stock and I had difficulties finding the right one for me. At first, I thought Crème Brulee would be too pink or dark on me but it actually works great at the moment. In fact, I like this concealer more than my favourite Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer and although it’s pricey, I know I have one more (temporary) solution for my really dark circles.

Like I mentioned, I don’t use base products at the moment, unless I really need covering up my skin issues but my skin still remains combination and quite shiny around the T-zone. Even if I don’t apply foundation, I’d lightly dust over a bit of powder for blurring and mattifying effect. When I got sent the new La Mer Sheer Pressed Powder in Translucent*, I was smitten. It’s so beautiful that I spent several days just looking at it, without using it.
It’s soft and velvety to the touch, it’s so finely-milled and lightweight. I use it over foundation (it really extends the wear of my makeup) or on its own because it gives me a matte but glowy and healthy look at the same time. When I use it on its own, I can see it has sheer coverage but it somehow makes me look more fresh and evens out my skin tone. The light-reflecting pigments create a soft blurring effect that is never flat or heavy-looking. It’s a pricey item but as a La Mer product, it’s formulated with their Miracle Broth to heal and nourish the skin, so it’s not just a makeup item, it also has skincare properties. I know we’re in the autumn/winter season and that’s one of the reasons why my skin isn’t so shiny but so far, I haven’t felt the need to powder more than once a day with this powder. Usually, I need to blot a few times a day but it would be interesting to test out the wear of the powder in the summer, as well.
I love how slim and elegant the compact is and if I wasn’t that scared to destroy it if I took it out of home, I’d always have it in my handbag.

My hands have been really dry lately, I wash them too many times a day and I don’t always wear gloves when I’m outside. It’s not so easy to hydrate my hands during the day when there’s always something to be done but I’ve been keeping the Origins Ginger Hand Lotion on my desk, so that I can apply it whenever I sit in front of my laptop. And I have to say, my hands looked and felt much better just after a couple of uses. The pump bottle is really convenient, the consistency is quite milky and lightweight, the lotion absorbs quickly and leaves a nourishing film without being sticky or greasy. I think it’s a perfect daytime hand moisturiser and I wouldn’t use it at night, as I’d like something richer but if you don’t like the feel of traditional hand creams, try this one out. It’s really nice for work, home or to have even in the car in the winter, as you get the hydrating properties of a cream minus the heavy texture and feel.

Last but not least is something a bit more summery but I’ve been loving it in the past couple of weeks. Rituals Express Your Soul Body & Bed Mist is quite citrusy, thanks to the Verbena and Petitgrain in it and I use it on our bed sheets every night although you’re supposed to spritz more calming scents at this time of the day. It’s alcohol-free and safe to use on all textiles, I don’t use it on my body, I just like how fresh it smells in the night when I’m turning sometimes. It’s not too overpowering and smells even better a few hours later. It’s a limited edition scent from the brand but I’m still seeing it online and in stores.

Can’t believe that it’s almost December already and although I can’t feel the Christmas spirit yet, I’m really excited to start opening my advent calendars… and hopefully, to feature some of the products inside in my next beauty favourites post!

*PR Sample

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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!

July Favourites

July is usually never an exciting month for me when it comes to beauty discoveries. It all seems to be paused, everyone’s on holiday and my routines are quite minimal.

But this year, I had the chance to try many products while I was away in Italy and hopefully, I’ll be sharing more about them in the next few weeks. In this monthly favourites post I’m featuring a couple of these products because I fell in love with them straight away.

One of them is the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser. I was surprised by the texture of this cleanser, as I was expecting it to be thick and even a bit drying. However, it feels light, at first it looks a bit like a clay mask or some sort of paste but it almost transforms into an oil when in contact with water. It’s purifying but also hydrating and my face feels really smooth and soft afterwards. At the beginning, I was a bit concerned because the formula contains 5% Glycolic Acid and my skin isn’t the biggest fan of this acid but it also has Hyaluronic Acid, Chamomile Extract and Avocado Oil, so the combination of these really seems to work for me at the moment. I’ve been using this mini as a morning cleanse or a second cleanse in the evening. Now I’m thinking about purchasing the full size because it’s not drying at all, feels amazing on the skin and leaves it fresh, clean and nourished.

It is not a secret that I adore floral waters and rose water was the first and only skincare product that I used when I was younger, even before my teenage years. The Alteya Organics Organic Bulgarian White Rose Water made me very curious because I’d never tried white rose water before. Rosa Alba is one of the rearest oil-bearing roses. Compared to rose water from the traditional Rosa Damascena, this one has lighter and a bit more delicate aroma but still has amazing soothing and calming properties, it’s softening and moisturising and rose water will forever be one of my favourite skin treats. It’s very gentle on the skin, it’s suitable for all skin types and can be used as a toner after cleansing, to refresh the skin during the day or after sun exposure, I also love using it when I travel and feel a bit dehydrated. They have different sizes and types of bottles, this is a huge 500 ml one but the little 100 ml spray version is really handy to have in a travel bag.

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks are now some of my favourite sheet masks. There are six types and the ones I keep repurchasing most of the time are the Raspberry (it feels refreshing in a hot summer day) and Lavender (very soothing and calming before bed) ones. Here’s a link to my review on the five I’ve tried, so far.

The only base product I’ve been using in the past weeks has been the Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45. I’ve mentioned in my Simple Summer Makeup blog post that it would be too dark for me in the rest of the year but the shade is great at the moment because I’m tanned. I like that it’s a lightweight BB cream but provides medium coverage, it’s quick and easy to apply and stays on all day.

I reach for This MAC x Steve J & Yoni P Touch Me Baby* eyeshadow duo whenever I don’t have much time or just want a wash of colour that can make me look more fresh and presentable. I love how small and compact the packaging is while still being stable and having magnetic closure. The eyeshadow on the right is the popular Soba that is a wonderful golden brown everyday shade but the frosted light pink Keep on Twinkling (on the left side) is really beautiful for a touch of sparkle. They may not seem compatible when you first look at them in the pan but you’d be surprised what a great pair they actually are.

Leave-in conditioners are my thing and when they’re in a spray form and it’s summer, I can use them all the time. Kérastase Aura Botanica Essence d’Éclat* is a beautiful hair mist that I use on damp hair after washing it or on dry hair to make it look more shiny and soft. It smells lovely and the formula is bi-phased, containing Jojoba, Avocado, Coconut and Argan Oils. I’ve done a blog post on the whole Aura Botanica range and in case you haven’t seen it, here’s a link to it.

There’s a bit of all, skincare, haircare and makeup, in my July beauty favourites, so maybe there will be something for you, as well.

*PR Samples

Empties #15


It feels quite strange to do a post with empty products for a second time this month. But here’s a tiny portion…most of them pretty useful if you’re travelling.

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks – I have an entire blog post dedicated to these face masks, so here’s a link to it in case you’d want a bit more information on each of them but I love them all and I’ve already repurchased a few;
Sally’s Box Loverecipe Paprika Sheet Mask & Peach Sheet Mask – The paprika one is for smoother skin texture and the serum was more like a gel, while the peach mask is firming and looked quite creamy. I enjoyed using both of them because my skin felt refreshed and soft after using the masks. It was also a bit cooling which is great for the summer months;
Balea Vital Sheet Mask – This sheet mask is usually supposed to be good for mature skin but I was curious to try it because of the Hyaluronic Acid and Argan Oil in it. Balea have some lovely budget sheet masks and this was no exception;
Balea Soft & Clear Nose Strips – I know these are not so good to use but I just can’t stop trying different ones. They are formulated with Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil and were recommended to me by a friend. So far, these are the best drugstore ones I’ve tried, sadly there are only 3 inside the packet but they’re very good;
Balea Clear-Up Strips – Love the Lotus Flower Extract range but these strips are not as good as the ones mentioned above;
Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner – This is an alcohol-free, soothing and hydrating toner. I really like it and I’m thinking about purchasing a full size, it’s good for any skin type but especially for those with combination and blemish-prone skin;
L’Occitane Essential Water – I’ve heard many good things about this floral water and I love the brand but this product stings my eyes and broke me out. The scent is very strong and I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but it just doesn’t agree with this toner, sadly;
Balea Eye Cream with Lotus Extract – There was another empty tube of my favourite drugstore eye cream about 3 weeks ago but this is the one I had in my travel bag and there was just a tiny bit left. I’ve talked about it so many times, it’s fragrance-free, feels soothing and hydrating and I will keep repurchasing it;
La Roche-Posay SPF 50+ Anthelios XL – This mini was so good for travelling. It’s a relatively lightweight cream although all sunscreens are a bit heavy on me but it was quite nice underneath makeup. The formula is paraben-free and water-resistant;
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in 02 Raspberry – One of my favourite lip products! Can’t believe I’ve used it up and need to get a new one. When I first got it, I didn’t expect it to be so nice on the lips but also, so moisturising. I’ve even used it as an overnight treatment during travels and it just leaves my lips incredibly soft and nourished;
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve – I still don’t understand how people never talk about these blushers and especially this particular shade. The powder is finely-milled, it has a beautiful sheen, applies like a dream and this one is something between a bronzer and a blusher. Simply gorgeous;
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer – A lovely brightening concealer with decent amount of coverage. I don’t talk about it a lot which is a shame because it’s a really nice product and I actually already have another tube of it;
Lancôme Hypnôse Volume-à-porter Mascara – This mini was great for my travel makeup bag. It doesn’t irritate my eyes and gives volume to the lashes, makes them look fluttery and the only downside is that it’s pretty tough to remove at the end of the day;
Lavera Deo Roll-On with Bio Aloe Vera & Bio Calendula – This is a vegan deodorant with subtle scent and lovely ingredients list. Most deodorants don’t really keep me sweat-free anyway, so I prefer to use such that are more “clean” and Lavera do really nice ones;
Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub – I love the brand’s body scrubs but this mini wasn’t that exfolaiting and I’m not sure if it was a problem with the one I had. However, I really like the scent;
Alverde Leave-In Conditioner Spray Aloe Vera Hibiscus – I believe it now has a new packaging and they often reformulate it but it’s always a nice budget-friendly product. It makes my hair shiny and smooth.

As it seems, I’ve used up quite a few products in the past couple of weeks and I’m already thinking about project pan. I have a lot of products that are half-used and I’m not the biggest fan of throwing something in the bin because I forgot about it and it has expired.

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks

When I think of face masks, Origins is probably the first brand that comes to mind. Whether it is a purifying or hydrating mask, they just seem to get it right. Sheet masks are really popular at the moment and when I learned about the Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks release, I couldn’t wait to see them in stores.

The masks have been insipired by the naturally radiant beauty of florals and they aim to help providing an instant boost of radiance and dewy moisture. The masks are made of natural Bamboo which makes them very soft and are formulated with pure flower extracts and essential oils. They all smell lovely as you’d expect. There are 6 types in total: Jasmine, Lavender, Orange, Raspberry, Rose and Violet. I’ve tried 5 of them because Rose never seems to be available but I keep trying to get my hands on it. Each mask is sold separately in individual packaging.
It’s suggested to leave the masks on for about 10 minutes after cleansing and toning but I often turn them over after this and use them for 10 more. Then I’d massage in what’s left from the essence and continue with my evening moisturiser. I wouldn’t say they’re expensive at the price of 55 kr but they’re not the most affordable ones out there.

Origins Flower Fusion Rose Hydrating Sheet Mask
A rose infused sheet mask that hydrates the skin and is rich in Vitamin C to leave skin smooth and bright. Like I mentioned above, it’s the only one I haven’t tried yet.

Origins Flower Fusion Violet Nourishing Sheet Mask
A mask rich in antioxidant Vitamins A and C with a violet infusion that acts to hydrate, calm and brighten the skin. I feel like this is a very gentle one even for those of us with combination and problematic skin.

Origins Flower Fusion Jasmine Softening Sheet Mask
A jasmine infused and scented mask that soothes and hydrates the skin leaving it silky soft and smooth. To me, this mask is great for a weekly boost of hydration no matter what your skin type is.

Origins Flower Fusion Lavender Soothing Sheet Mask
A lovely relaxing and brightening mask. I find it’s great applying it before bed as the scent is very calming. Lavender is antiseptic, so this is a good one for those of you with sensitive or irritated skin, it also helps reduce redness.

Origins Flower Fusion Raspberry Refreshing Sheet Mask
This is my favourite mask when my skin gets a bit more oily in the hot days. It’s indeed refreshing and bursting with vitamins and antioxidants.

Origins Flower Fusion Orange Radiance-Boosting Sheet Mask
Zesty, awakening, refreshing… I used this mask for the first time before going to a concert in the evening and I got a beautiful healthy glow, my makeup applied really nicely afterwards and I felt great. The most brightening one of them all, this mask is perfect to use in the long winter days or when your complexion is a bit dull and you want to bring your skin back to life.

I honestly cannot say anything bad about these sheet masks, I actually love them because they’re a quick fix in some of my not so good skin days, they smell lovely and I can easily find them around me.