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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 #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!

September Favourites

The season of warm blankets and cosy knits has just started, so it is probably normal that this month’s beauty favourites post is a mix of summer and autumn bits.

Rituals have some of my favourite bath and body products but their skincare was never something I looked into. My boyfriend knows that I love lip balms and a few weeks ago, he passed by a Rituals store and decided to add the Smooth Operator Lip Balm to my collection. At that time my lips were pretty dry and this was the only lip balm I had with me, so I started using it the same night and I liked it straight away because of the minty feel and smooth texture but I really fell in love with it the next morning. When I woke up, my lips were so soft, smooth and hydrated that I couldn’t quite believe it. The formula contains Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil and Eucalyptus and it feels really moisturising and refreshing at the same time. There’s also a lot of product in the bullet and I’m sure it will be an essential for me in the upcoming winter days.

A few weeks ago I shared with you a bit about my skin issues because of the high temperatures in the summer and a sunscreen that probably wasn’t the right one for me. Since then, I’ve been using the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ and I really like it. It has a milky texture and feels quite light on the skin. It doesn’t look too shiny on my combination skin and I don’t find it pore-clogging. I’m not sure what took me so long to try it but now I know why the reviews on it are so positive.

Weather’s getting colder and the skin on my body has been feeling quite dry and although Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil was a summer favourite of mine, I still keep using it. At this point, I like taking a warm shower at night and applying the oil while my skin is still damp. This has made such a difference to its condition and I really don’t want to see this bottle empty because I simply love the product. I’ve done a review on the body oil here, so you can take a look in case it’s interesting for you.

I’m pretty sure this is not the first favourites post where I’m featuring Weleda Skin Food. Most of us already know how amazing it is but I got new tubes for us (my boyfriend and I) and for my family, so this was one of the old ones that I decided to use as foot cream. I’ll usually apply a thick layer of Skin Food and then I’ll put on warm socks and let the cream do its magic. It’s a rich cream as you probably know, so having sticky feet is not the most pleasant feeling but once it’s fully absorbed, you see it was worth it. I also like applying it on my elbows and knuckles, it’s really hydrating and smells very fresh although some people hate the scent.

In this post, I said that I love Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure and I think it’s worth the splurge. Since I got it, it’s been constantly in my makeup bag but I feel like I’ll be using it even more in the autumn and winter months. It’s just a beautiful finely-milled powder, they have a gorgeous selection of shades and they’ve just released their holiday face palette that looks stunning!

I can’t believe we’re already in the last three months of the year, time’s flying and I feel like we’ll be soon talking about Christmas preparations.

Army of Minis #6

Travel size products are a big love of mine, there’s no need for me to go on a trip to use them but when a holiday is on the horizon, I add as many as I can to my bag. Me and my boyfriend are going to Rome in a few days, I miss the city so much and we haven’t been on a holiday for a year. After all we’ve been through in the past 14 months, I’m keeping my fingers crossed to finally spend some relaxing time together.

This post is a bit Loccitane-heavy simply because I had their advent calendar and I’m taking away with me two shower gels: Thé Vert & Bigarade and Jasmin & Bergamote, a Cherry Blossom EDT and Immortelle Precious Mist which I’ve been wanting to try for half a year but somehow kept it away from my eyes.
There’s one more toner mini because I adore mists and toners and it’s from Kiehl’s. You can see I’m already using their Calendula Alcohol-Free Herbal-Extract Toner. It’s really gentle and soothing and the only reason I haven’t purchased the full size yet is because I’d like to try some of the other toners from the brand first.
The Avène Thermal Spring Water is mostly for my handbag because as much as I’d like to believe we’re going to take it easy this time, I know us and how busy our holidays always are, so we’ll need something to refresh the skin with. Also, my boyfriend is really pale and spraying the water feels calming on his face when it gets red despite applying and reapplying sunscreen.

Speaking of SPF, I’m taking this tiny La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ along with the full size of it and the Rituals Sun Protection Face Cream SPF 30. I’ve never tried the latter and I’m a bit unsure whether a holiday is the right time for me try a new SPF, considering almost all sunscreens break me out but I’ve heard many positive reviews on this one.

To take my makeup off, I’m going to use Cattier Paris Cleansing Micellar Solution which has amazing ingredients like rose water and lactic acid.
To cleanse, I’ll be using the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser from their Best of Bright Kit. It’s not on the photo because I just purchased the set and it’s supposed to arrive the moment I’m posting this.
I’m also bringing away with me La Roche-Posay Effaclar K (+) in case blemishes try to ruin the mood and let’s face it, summer, hot weather, combination skin…it’s inevitable.

When it comes to haircare minis, I’m going to rely on an old favourite like the Moroccanoil Treatment is and I’ll be trying a new shampoo for me that comes from Andalou Naturals. It’s vegan and sulphate-free with amazing ingredients listed and I can’t wait to see how it works.

I’ll be surely adding a full size fragrance to my travel bag but this mini of Armani Sì EDP is a must, it just screams Italy to me!

Travel minis are not only cute but also really handy and I can’t be the only one crazy about them! Hope you’re having a beautiful summer!

Empties #13

It’s time for a new portion of empty products…
Skincare and Makeup Products

Rituals Mild Eye Makeup Remover – That is a gentle makeup remover that effectively takes off mascara and eye makeup without irritating my eyes and I’d repurchase it;
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water – One of my favourite micellar waters, it’s mild, it’s good at removing the major part of my makeup and is suitable for sensitive skin, as well;
Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – I already have a full size of this one because it’s a fantastic face wash that cleanses my skin but also leaves it hydrated;
Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Toner – That’s a brilliant toner that contains 2% Lactic Acid, I really need to get a new one because it’s great for combination skin. It’s oil-free but hydrating and exfolaiting at the same time;
Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray – I always carry a mini of this one when I travel because it’s refreshing and hydrating, especially in the summer;
Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum – My favourite budget moisturising serum, so lightweight yet delivers a good amount of hydration to the skin;
Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturiser – The whole Ibuki range is simply amazing, I wouldn’t say this is my favourite moisturiser but it’s lovely;
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturiser SPF 15 – Another really nice face cream that also has SPF but it’s so pricey that I don’t think I’d repurchase, considering there are so many amazing moisturisers out there;
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel – This is a gel that really gives visible results but then again, it is too expensive and I had issues with the pump;
EOS Pomegranate Raspberry Lip Balm – I don’t find these balms to be the most moisturising ones but I enjoy using them;
L’Occitane x Pierre Hermé Paris Miel Mandarine Lip Balm – What an amazing scent, not too sweet or overpowering, simply divine, also, I love the brand’s lip balms;
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant – I used this product almost every day on its own or before foundation, it’s brilliant because you get the skincare treatment but also tinted cream with pretty good coverage, will definitely repurchase;
Essence Camouflage Cream Concealer – There’s just a little bit left but it’s already dry, I think it was a beautiful affordable concealer duo that I used under my eyes and around the face and I didn’t need another concealer when I was travelling, this one was enough. Sadly, I think, they no longer have it on the shelves;
Bourjois Healthy Balance Face Powder – I don’t remember how many of these I’ve used up, it’s one of my favourite powders that mattifies the skin but still leaves it looking radiant;
Dior Addict Milky Tint in 286 Milky Plum – Glosses aren’t my favourite lip products but using up one means I loved it. This gloss is actually quite unique, it’s has a milky finish that looks creamy and not too shiny and all the shades are really flattering. Plus, they feel hydrating and plumping. I have a full review on them here.


Body and Hair Products

Original Source Green Banana and Bamboo Milk Shower MilkOriginal Source have some wonderful body washes, their scents are always interesting and I really enjoyed using this shower milk;
L’Occitane Aromachologie Relaxing Shower Gel – I need a bigger size of this one, it’s so lovely, the scent is so relaxing and 100% natural. The body wash is made with essential oils and feels incredibly soothing;
Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion – For some reason Clarins body products and their scents always remind me of comfy hotel beds after a long day of walking around lesser known places, is that strange? Probably but what I mean is that this lotion gives me some kind of comfort and it’s soothing, it feels really hydrating and I sometimes used it as a hand cream, as well;
Moroccanoil Treatment – This cute mini is perfect for travelling, luckily, I have a couple more because I really like this oil, it’s lightweight, smells divine and makes my hair shiny;
Lilly Oil-Based Nail Polish Remover – The best nail polish remover, nourishing, takes off nail polish easily and the only negative is that you can’t find it in many countries.

Sachets

Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner – I’ve heard so many positive reviews on Kiehl’s toners that I feel like I want to try all of them but unfortunately, this one stings and burns my skin and makes it look red. It feels really soft after that, though but I don’t think it’s my type of toner. However, I’ll be trying out more;
Balea Aqua Sheet Mask and Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask – I already shared with you how much I love these sheet masks in my Budget Skincare Stars post;
Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar – It has a nice subtle scent and feels hydrating but I think it broke me out which is a shame because I really liked the texture and the feel of the cream;
Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser – Being a huge fan of Clinique moisturisers and the Pep-Start eye cream, I had high hopes for this one and even meant to get the full size straight away. Luckily, I got this sample first because to me, it feels like a silicone primer, doesn’t give me much hydration and I find it pretty hard to apply it evenly.

These are my recent beauty empties and I see that I really miss some of the products already.