Tag Archives: soap and glory

Empties #18

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post with used up products. It’s a bit hard to keep the empty bottles when you’re away from home or you’re torn between two countries and ‘home’ is quite tough to define. But let us take a look at some recent empties.

Skincare and Makeup Products

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water – This has been my favourite micellar water in the past year, it’s really gentle yet effective. I use it just to take off my makeup in the evening and then continue with a cleanser but it’s still nice that it doesn’t leave a sticky residue and doesn’t sting;
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser – A lovely, mild and gentle cleanser that I need to get another tube of. It really helped me calm my skin after my issues appeared and I started using Differin. I love trying different products but I have to say, I miss this cleanser in my routine;
L’Occitane Peony Perfecting Mist – I’ve gone through a few of these which means I love it and I love it because it somehow makes my skin texture better, it feels refreshing and hydrating and I love spritzing it throughout the day;
Alverde Aqua Eye Gel – My budget pick for the area around the eyes, it just feels incredibly lightweight while providing moisture. Probably my third tube and won’t be the last;
Decléor Aurabsolu Dark Circle Corrector – This is magic! It doesn’t erase my dark circles, of course, but it gives such radiance and brightness that I look ten times fresher. I think I might need the full size of it;
Herborist Silky Eye Gel – At first I didn’t like this because it can feel a bit sticky. It’s still not my favourite eye product but I like how cooling it feels;
Clinique Fresh Pressed System – I have a review on the 7-day system here, in case you’d like to read it. I was quite impressed by it mainly because the hyperpigmentation I get, faded much quicker than usual while I was using the system. Too bad it’s quite expensive if you want to get it for a whole month;
Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Liquid Care – And another bottle of this refreshing liquid moisturiser is gone. It makes my skin softer and smoother, it feels soothing and is enriched with powerful antioxidants;
Dr. Jart + Water Drop Hydrating Moisturiser – Water creams have been part of my routines since last summer and I can’t wait to try all the different brands. This one was my first experience with water creams and I have a few more as a backup because it’s travel-friendly and I love how light it feels on the skin;
Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Day Oil – My skin can get pretty dry in the winter because of the prescription retinoid and I liked to use this one in the morning  by mixing a few drops of it with my moisturiser. It doesn’t feel greasy, it’s very nourishing and gives a beautiful glow to the skin;
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Light SPF 50+ – I struggle a lot with suncreams. It’s the one product that I need to apply every morning and the hardest to find. A suncream clogged my pores so badly that I still fear applying new ones on my skin. This has been the best one I’ve found, so far, just because it doesn’t irritate my skin but it’s still not the formula I wish it had. It’s lightweight indeed but it’s still difficult to work with over water-based products or under makeup. I’d probably purchase the one with SPF 30 next;
Himalaya Herbals Cocoa Butter Lip Balm – That’s a beautiful affordable lip balm. It feels a bit thick at first but it’s not uncomfortable and I love how nourished my lips are afterwards;
Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Lash Primer – Although I don’t think I need a full size of this one, I have to say, it does work and makes a difference to my lashes;
L’oréal Volume Million Lashes So Couture – I loved this mascara when it first came out, it has exactly the type of brush that I like but when I got it a couple of months ago again, it just didn’t do anything for me. It can’t grab my lashes, at all and it just leaves them looking as if I haven’t used mascara;
Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara – This, on the other hand, is one of my favourite mascaras in the past 6 months! This is my second tube, the first one was sent to me for a review which you can find here and I already have a third one;

Body and Hair Products

Bilou Cherry Blossom Shower Foam – This looks so pretty and was fun to use although it didn’t feel as luxurious as other shower foams and sadly, it didn’t smell like cherry blossom, at all. I have another scent of it which feels the same, so I don’t think I’d be getting more from them;
Original Source Lime Shower Gel – These always smell very nice and I get them because of the scents, basically;
L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Bath & Shower Gel – One of my favourite scents! I love how it smells, I love how it feels like something between a gel and an oil and I always have a couple of minis of the brand’s shower gels. I simply love travelling with them and I somehow connect the way they smell to holidays;
Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Shower Gel – That was an incredibly big bottle even for me (I go through shower gels really quickly) and at first, I loved the scent because I started using it around Christmas time. Unfortunately, this shower gels dried my skin out quite a bit, so I had to alternate it with other body washes and at some point, I just wanted to finish it up and didn’t even enjoy the scent anymore;
Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish – This one has a lovely smell but in terms of exfoliating, it’s not the best as it dissolves a bit too quickly and doesn’t do much;
Garnier Ultimate Blends 1 Minute Hair Treatment – It’s an easy pick for me when I need something nourishing for my ends because it’s affordable and it’s not so hard to find;
L’Occitane Arlésienne Velvet Hand Cream – I know I’m talking about L’Occitane hand creams all the time but it’s difficult not to love them. Their scents are so unique, feminine and elegant, the texture is so soft and non-greasy that I always have to have a few of them. This is actually my second tube of this scent but it has a different packaging now;
Essence Shea Butter Hand Cream – I have a mini trio of these and I really like it, they are not the most nourishing ones but they absorb really quickly and they’re perfect daytime hand creams;
Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream – This one is very rich and thick but it doesn’t feel heavy. I prefer to use it at night, it’s gorgeous and leaves my hands nourished and soothed;
Rituals Honey Touch Body Cream – That’s another repurchase, the brand has beautiful body products and I rarely find something that I don’t like from them;
Giorgio Armani Sì Perfumed Body Lotion – Although this wasn’t moisturising, at all, I’m in love with the fragrance and I really enjoyed using it;
Soap & Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream – Light scent, lightweight texture, feels refreshing and hydrating…loved it!

Masks and Samples

Ivy Hot Eyes Steam Eye Mask – I have two more of these and I’m not sure how I feel about them. It’s supposed to be a home spa treatment, to make you feel more relaxed before bed and to soothe tired eyes. The mask itself is quite comfortable and soft but it felt a bit too hot for me. I just didn’t feel well with so much heat over my eyes but like I said, there are two more left in the pack, so I might it them again;
Starskin Nourishing Double-Layer Hand Mask Gloves – A real pleasure to use! I’m definitely going to try more from the brand. I used this mask while I was reading in bed before sleep, my hands were very dry and the mask felt so soothing and cooling. On the next day my hands were much softer;
Sephora Almond Foot Mask – Foot masks, on the other hand, are never comfortable. At least, that’s what I think. But I liked the effect after using this Sephora foot mask;
Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation – I’ve heard so many positive reviews on this foundation that I almost purchased it without trying. Luckily, Sephora added a sample to one of my orders and I was really excited to see how it looks. The shade was a bit too light even for my winter complexion but that’s not so important. Yes, this foundation is high coverage and it really doesn’t feel heavy on the skin but I didn’t like how it looked. I have combination skin with more oily T-zone and the product still sat dry and very unnatural-looking. I tried using it with a brush or a sponge, I tried applying less product (the sample was quite generous, so I could try it quite a few times) but it just didn’t work. Unfortunately, it didn’t look well on me.

Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday!


December Favourites

Hope you’ve had amazing holidays, filled with peace and love! A couple of days after Christmas and a few days before we welcome the new year, here’s a list of beauty bits I’ve been loving in the month of December.

I recently did an updated winter skincare post and I mentioned that I’m trying to use less products and to make my routines a bit more simple. Unfortunately, I can’t use acids in the evening at the moment and I’ve been trying to find something milder that I can use in the morning. One of these products has been Pixi Peel & Polish and I have to say, like with many Pixi products, you need to use it a few weeks or months to see results. I haven’t noticed major difference in my skin but as it’s been already half a year with my skin problems, I can tell when something’s working and this product definitely is, at least for me. It contains Lactic Acid and fruit enzymes, ingredients that always help me when I’m trying to improve the condition of my skin. My face feels smoother and softer and the skin tone looks more even and healthy. The downside for me is the scent and the small particles that are supposed to give extra exfoliation.

My lips got really dry in the past few weeks, I came back to Norway and I guess, I’m still getting used to the winter here. One night I decided to try a drugstore lip balm that many girls have been raving about. It’s by Himalaya and it’s their Cocoa Butter Lip Balm. I’ve tried a few products by the brand, there is one that I absolutely love and there are several that didn’t impress me, at all, so I didn’t know what to expect. The lip balm doesn’t contain petroleum, artificial colourants and preservatives and is rich in Cocoa Butter and Sal Butter to soothe and nourish the lips and to prevent them from drying. The balm feels slightly thicker than what I’ve been using lately, it creates a film on top of the lips but looks matte and smells quite nice. When I woke up the morning after using it for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised because my lips felt incredibly soft, as if I’d just exfoliated them with my favourite Dior Lip Scrub. Since then, I’ve been using it every day and I haven’t had dry or chapped lips for weeks now.

In the past 6 months, I’ve been trying to give my skin and hair a break and to use only what I need to  use or what I (or a specialist) think could help me at a certain moment. So, the hair products I’ve been using are just a few but I’m noticing visible results with them. Like with this Kérastase L’incroyable Blowdry Crème* that protects and helps with styling the hair, as well. After I cut my hair much shorter, I started styling it a lot more than before. I like washing my hair late in the evening and I always use a hair dryer, so I apply the cream on damp hair, then I dry my hair and on the next morning I just quickly straighten it or add a few waves here and there. The good thing with this cream is that I don’t need to apply it again to get the heat protecting properties on the next day. I’m really happy that even now, when I’m styling my hair so often, I can still have shiny and healthy ends. The brand also has a lighter, lotion version in case you have fine hair.

Winter is the best time to talk about foot creams, isn’t it? Considering how much drier our face gets in the colder months, it’s only fair that the same would happen to our body and especially, to the feet. Honestly, I’m not the biggest lover of foot creams because they often feel heavy and greasy but I’m still trying to use them every night or every other night. Luckily, a few weeks ago, I remembered how much I liked Heel Genius from Soap & Glory and got a new mini of it. It’s a rich cream but the consistency is gel-like and not thick at all, it also has a really light scent, it’s not too minty or overpowering. The cream feels really refreshing once it’s applied and it’s very moisturising without leaving a greasy residue. I probably should have taken the full size but this one has lasted me a pretty long time and it’s very affordable, too.

And now we are making a fast turn to something very luxurious. But there’s a short story first. Back in November when me and my boyfriend went to Milan to celebrate his birthday, we visited a department store where they had a Jo Malone counter and I tried about 6-7 of their scents, there were a couple new for me but it was so chaotic in the store that I didn’t get the chance to remember their names. When we got back to the hotel, I could still feel one of them and I really loved it. Sadly, if I want to purchase something from Jo Malone in Norway, I have to travel to Oslo or to order it online which means I need to know the name of the scent. And because I didn’t know it, I just decided to wait for another day near a Jo Malone counter, so that I can smell it again. Fast forward to about 10 days ago when my boyfriend gave me a beautiful set of Jo Malone colognes for my birthday (there’s another story about how impossible it was for him to find it and you can read part of it under this Instagram photo) and I was really surprised to see the one I fell in love with among the others. Jo Malone English Oak & Redcurrant Cologne is actually one of the two new scents that the brand released this year and the contrast between the fruity and the woody notes is simply divine. At first it feels warmer and earthy, then the heart notes of rose make it really feminine and elegant but the rose isn’t that detectable. It’s also more woody than fruity. For me, it is a very cosy autumn/winter scent, it’s like dew over the autumn leaves at dawn, like damp branches of our big walnut tree…like home… I love this fragrance and I’m happy we met again. I tried pairing it with some of the other Jo Malone colognes and it’s always surprising but at the moment, I’m just enjoying it on its own.

I’m preparing a post with my 2017 beauty favourites that seem to be much less than the last year’s ones which is showing how much I’ve narrowed down the items I’ve been using. I hope you’ve had beautiful Christmas holidays with your loved ones and you’re looking forward to welcoming the new year.

*PR Sample

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.

Empties #14

Usually this type of posts contain a lot of products but like I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to do them more often and with less products now, so that they don’t get too long and boring. Here it is everything I’ve used up recently.

Skincare Products

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water – One of my favourite micellar waters. I like taking my makeup off with such products before cleansing my skin and this one is very gentle yet effective, a cult classic that doesn’t need too many words;
Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel – This is the cleanser from the same range and I love it, I already have a second bottle of it because it doesn’t really foam, it feels very soothing on the skin and leaves it soft and clean;
Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask – A fantastic budget sheet mask that contains Salicylic Acid and Zinc which is great if you have blemish-prone and oily skin. I use it when I feel that I need it or once a week because of my combination skin;
Sephora Algae Face Mask – This is the purifying sheet mask from Sephora and I have to say, I enjoy using almost all of their sheet masks. This one makes my skin look a bit brighter but definitely not matte. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite one and I’m not sure if I’d repurchase but I don’t think it’s a bad sheet mask;
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray – Thermal sprays, floral mists and toners are must-haves for me all year round but especially in the summer. I love the cooling and soothing effect of this thermal water, it makes my skin soft and radiant without looking shiny;
La Roche-Posay Serozinc 
– This Zinc Sulfate solution for oily, blemish-prone skin is a huge love of mine and sadly, not available anywhere around me. I’m really sad I’ve used up another bottle of this miracle worker and I hope it will be soon easier to find;
La Roche-Posay Tolerian Ultra Fluide – A soothing lightweight cream for face and eyes that calms my skin and leaves it moisturised without making it more oily;
Balea Eye Cream with Lotus – This is probably my 5th tube of my favourite drugstore eye cream. I love the texture, it’s so light yet hydrating, the formula is fragrance-free and contains  Vitamin E, Panthenol, Almond, Jojoba, Aloe and Lotus Oils and Caffeine and Vitamin C;
KICKS Age Defence Turn Back Time Sun Protection SPF 30 – This sunscreen has a lovely apple scent and doesn’t break me out which is one of the most important things for me when it comes to SPF. It can look a bit more shiny on my combination skin but I much prefer this cream to many of the popular ones that tend to leave white cast or look too greasy or too chalky;

Makeup Products

Essence Stay Natural Concealer – One of those concealers in a pen form that has a brush on the end. I’m not sure exactly why but I really love this type of concealers. They’re somehow easy to use and as if the formula is always lightweight but with very good coverage and brightening effect;
Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil – My favourite eyebrow pencil! It’s precise, the shade is great for me, it’s not too dry or too creamy, it’s just perfect;
Essence Make Me Brow Gel – I have 5-6 of these in my beauty stash because the darker shade always seems to be out of stock and I think it’s a really nice setting gel for brows. It doesn’t make my brow hairs too crispy, it leaves them natural-looking and the tiny wand doesn’t pick up too much product;
Catrice All Matt Powder – There’s still a little bit left in the pan but it’s getting harder and harder to use the product. This is a finely-milled powder that mattifies my skin but also gives it a bit of a glow, I feel like it’s impossible to overdo it and now I really want to try more of the brand’s powders;
Catrice Beautifying Lip Smoother – This has been staying at the bottom of one of my bags for ages and I just wanted to say a few words about it because I got it thinking it might be similar to the Instant Light Lip Perfectors from Clarins. I don’t want to say it’s a horrible product but first of all, I don’t like the scent, it’s a sweet one but as if the product has expired and then it does make my lips look smooth and shiny without being too glossy but on the next day, they’re pretty dry. I used to keep it in my handbag trying to make myself use it during the day but it’s just not my favourite lip product;

Body Products

Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream – Incredibly moisturising and soothing hand cream enriched with Shea Butter and Lanolin. The scent is similar to This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray;
Himalaya Herbals Baby Lotion – The best thing about this lotion is that it absorbs almost instantly without leaving any residue which makes it perfect for summer. The formula contains Almond Oil and Olive Oil and I really liked using it;
The Body Shop Mango Body Mist – Body mists are great in the summer, they don’t last that long on the skin but feel refreshing and smell sweet. Unfortunately, the top of this one broke, so it’s been really hard to use it up but the scent is very nice and not too overpowering.

Hope you’re having a great start to the new month!

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?