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October Favourites

Autumn has been amazing, so far this year! I’m lucky to be spending some weeks at home and each year the season gets more and more beautiful in my city.

However, I haven’t been that fortunate when it comes to my skin. If you’re not aware of my troubles, I’ve been suffering with a bad reaction after using a sunscreen in the summer, I’ve contacted several dermatologists but sadly, with no result. The latest thing I was prescribed was Differin Gel and if you’re familiar with this medication you probably know that the first couple of weeks are the hardest. Right now, my skin is peeling, it’s burning and feels painful even though I’m not applying the gel every night.

So, I’ve been trying to hydrate and calm the skin. The three products that are helping me the most at the moment are this Vichy Mineralising Thermal Water, the Zoya Organic Bulgarian Rosehip Oil and the Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturiser. And I use them in this exact order but on an evening when I apply the Differin, I’d use the medication first, then I’d wait around 30 minutes and continue with these three products. The thermal water spray feels very soothing, it’s infused with antioxidants, it calms my skin and the oil applies much easier while the face is still damp. The rosehip oil doesn’t give me a stinging sensation (at the moment many products feel irritating) and not only moisturises my skin but it’s almost like it’s healing it, as well. Since I’ve started using the rosehip oil, my skin feels much less stripped, dry and painful. At first, the Water Drop Hydrating Moisturiser wasn’t helping me much as it was burning a bit but now that my skin is a lot more soothed, I can enjoy the lightweight yet hydrating feeling of it. I need a tiny amount of the product, it looks like a gel but applies almost like water and smells quite nice. If you have dry skin, this wouldn’t be enough for you on its own in the winter but I think it’s lovely if you want to give your regular moisturiser a boost, for example. I have a mini of 30 ml but it’s lasting me a really long time.

I’ve been loving two mascara in the past couple of months. They’re totally different in terms of formulas and brushes but they both give me amazing results, they’re long-wearing and smudge-proof. Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara* was mentioned here when I reviewed the entire Monsieur Big collection from the brand and since then it’s been my go-to mascara for days when I want full and separated lashes. For me, it’s totally worth the hype and I can already see it as an annual favourite of mine.
This cool dual-chamber packaging of MAC Bold & Bad Lash* actually contains two brushes and two different formulas (full review here) in one tube. With this mascara I can create a really natural everyday-appropriate look or go for a bold effect if I want. The tiny wand for the lower lashes is very precise and even though I don’t usually wear mascara on my bottom lashes, this one made me change that.

The Tom Ford Lipstick in Indian Rose* looks brand new but that’s just because I use the other side of the bullet to apply this beautiful pinky rose shade. This is the perfect lipstick, the colour looks stunning no matter if I’m wearing it in the summer or winter. The texture is quite creamy and I would have never expected such a creamy lipstick to be that long-wearing but it really is. There’s a subtle shimmer running through but surprisingly for me, it makes the lipstick colour even more beautiful. In fact, the shimmer doesn’t show up on my lips, it just makes them look more plump and not flat. I simply adore this lipstick!

These are my favourite beauty items for the month of October and I already have a full box of different products to try in November which makes me really excited. Holiday season is just around the corner, as well, so I’m curious to see all the gift sets and other limited edition releases.

*PR Samples

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Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25

In a world filled with stress, pollution, sun damage, bad diet our skin can suffer just as much as our health. That’s why sometimes we need to slow down.
When I noticed the Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 a few months ago, my attention was grabbed by the promises for healthy skin, protected from the everyday harmful factors. I really wanted to share with you the pros and cons for me because it’s quite a popular skincare item. I have to say, I’ve been mostly using it in the warmer months and that might be the reason for the negative side of my experience but I’ll continue testing out the fluid in the fall/winter.

I really like the idea of Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 and the way it’s expressed because it’s not presented as an anti-ageing product but as one that aims to prevent premature ageing. The concept is inspired by the “Slow Movement” and doing everything at the right pace in order to achieve the best results. When it comes to skincare, this will mean protecting the skin for the longer term well-being.

First of all, the packaging of the Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 is stunning. It comes in a weighty glass bottle (not travel-friendly but it’s beautiful) with a lovely colour theme and a pump, it’s so simple yet so pretty. The glass isn’t transparent, so you can’t really tell how much product you have left.

My decision to pick up the fluid was made by the fact that I have combination skin and this is supposed to be a lighter version of the cream from the line that is suitable for drier skin types. The products from the range are paraben-free and hypoallergenic. The fluid formula combines three naturally active ingredients and broad spectrum filters. The active ingredients are Baïcalin, Bifidus and Vichy Thermal Spa Water.
Baïcalin is a powerful antioxidant which has roots traced back to traditional Chinese medicine. In combination with Vitamin C, Vitamin E and the SPF 25, it works to slow down and correct the signs of ageing by protecting the skin against daily pollutants and aggressors. Sadly, Baïcalin is at the end of the ingredient list which means the concentration is very low. Bifidus is the ‘good’ bacteria, it’s probiotic-derived and helps strengthen the skin’s barrier function against factors that may weaken it such as stress, UV and pollution. The Vichy Thermal Spa Water is rich in 15 minerals and helps rebalance the skin’s pH and improves the overall quality of the skin.
The product is not fragrance-free, so have that in mind in case you have sensitive skin. Vichy Slow Âge Fluid‘s fragrance was developed to mimic the fresh volcanic force of the Vichy mineral water and nature in general.

When I first looked at the texture of the fluid, it seemed quite thick to me but once I applied it on my face, I noticed how milky and lightweight it actually was. It absorbs quickly and gives a nice glow to the skin, feels nourishing and hydrating and smells amazing. But then the downside appears. The radiance is replaced by shine because of my combination skin, the makeup doesn’t apply that well on top of it and even my long-wearing foundations don’t last that much if I’ve used the fluid underneath. That’s why I like using it on days when I have to apply my makeup really quickly using less than 5 products or with no makeup at all.

I don’t think I can say something about the anti-ageing properties just a couple of months after using the product but I have to admit, my skin does look a bit brighter and more even now.

I love the concept and how Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 mousturises the skin while providing sun protection and  if I wear just a bit of concealer and mascara, it’s all ok. However, if I want to use foundation, I need to apply another moisturiser underneath my base. That’s why I’d like to try it again once the weather gets colder, hoping that it won’t interfere with my makeup and my T-zone will look less shiny. Also, Baïcalin is the ingredient that is the base of the brand’s campaign for the range but the quantity of it in the formula is actually very small. I like the fluid, just I can’t say I love it or at least not yet.

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!

Empties #3

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Empties time! Actually some of the products have been used up months ago but it turned out that I kept them in another box *sigh* and I was trying to accumulate a little bit more and at the end it turned out it was too much *sigh again* but hopefully you won’t be bored.
I decided to group them and here’s the result:

Face products

Ikarov rose water – I love pure rose water but this just wasn’t my favourite. It wasn’t bad, it didn’t irritate my skin but it didn’t even smell of rose water, I just wanted to try a different one but won’t be repurchasing.
L’Occitane Angelica Ultra Matte Fluid – one of my 2014 favourites! I love this as a primer on my combination skin, it’s one of the loveliest products I’ve ever used and that’s why I wanted to try the following product as well.
L’Occitane Angelica Eye Roll-On – refreshing eye gel, I kept it in the fridge for a cooling effect, I love it for the spring and summer.
Oriflame Essentials Eye Contour Gel – another eye product, another gel with cooling effect. It was a nice one but nothing special.
NUXE Micellar Foam Cleanser with Rose Petals (review here) – I used this up such a long time ago and somehow the bottle remained hidden somewhere. It’s a really gentle cleanser, I loved using it in the morning, smells incredible and I’d repurchase.
Bilka Cleansing Milk with White Grapes Extract – this is suitable for dry skin but it didn’t make mine greasy, it wasn’t heavy but it didn’t remove make-up so well.
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer – this was my second tube and it means that I really like this concealer, I’d definitely repurchase.
Oriflame The One Volume Blast Mascara – this mascara didn’t wow me in terms of volume but it’s a great one for separating your lashes and that’s why I’m missing it. I always used it before applying another one. More about the mascara here.
Oriflame Very Me Prep Me Perfect – this primer actually surprised me, it made my skin smoother and the rest of the products glided on easily after this.

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Shower products

Cottage Exfoliating Shower Gel with Violet Sugar – this one smells amazing, cleanses the skin while gently exfoliates it, it’s affordable and I’d repurchase it.
L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil – probably my favourite body wash. It’s so moisturising that you don’t even need to use a body lotion/butter after that. Have repurchased and will always repurchase it!
Faith in Nature Pomegranate and Rooibos Shower Gel* – I’ve included this one in a monthly favourites, I really liked it, I’m curious about the other scents so I’d be picking up another one.

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Hair products

Elvital Volume Collagen Shampoo – Was a little bit heavy on my hair and I actually prefer some other Elvital shampoos more so I won’t be repurchasing this one.
Vichy Dercos Mineral Soft Shampoo – I wrote a post here about how soft my hair gets with this shampoo, I liked the gentle scent and the gel-like texture and the only thing that bothered me was the uncomfortable pump.
Toni and Guy Cleanse Dry Shampoo – this dry shampoo has a very strong fragrance, it’s very heavy, leaves too much residue and at the same time makes the hair quite sticky. At the end of the day my scalp feels very itchy and it’s really unpleasant. Won’t repurchase.
Batiste Floral and Fruity Blush Dry Shampoo – I find this one much better, smells fresh, yes, it leaves some residue but after combing your hair it goes away, gives you volume, texture and does its job good. I’d repurchase.

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Masks and samples

Montagne Jeunesse Peel-Off Masque – I’d definitely repurchase this face mask, it has a cooling effect, it’s easy to apply and remove, makes your skin soft and it’s quite relaxing when you have it on.
Montagne Jeunesse Mud Pac – this one smells very strong, it’s almost irritating. When the mask starts to dry, it gets flaky and everything falls down, I wouldn’t get it again.
DHC Velvet Skin Coat Primer – it has silicone-based formula and it does makes your skin smoother and prepares it for your foundation but it doesn’t really fill in pores, at least for me.
Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash – this is supposed to do the same as the famous Beauty Flash Balm but for your under eye area and you still have to use an eye product, it’s not replacing the eye care step. However, for me it didn’t change anything, I have pretty dark circles, I’m not sure if this is the reason but there was no change after applying this product.
Dior Addict IT-Lash – it’s a very nice mascara, I like the brush but it didn’t do something so special that I’d decide to pick the full-sized one.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair – I’ve been reading and hearing so much about this product and when I got a sample to try, I was really disappointed that it broke me out straight on the next morning after applying it the night before. Now I’m not sure if I’d give it another go or I’ll just forget about it. If you’ve seen the full size in a latest InstaHaul on my Instagram, I actually decided to give it away as a present.
Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash – this cleanser is actually 2-in-1 product because it has tiny scrub particles, I love the scent and it was very pleasant to use it, not sure if I can judge by such a small sample but it didn’t break me out, it wasn’t stripping and I liked it.
Bliss Ex-‘glow’-sion – this moisturiser was a little bit too heavy on my combination skin and made it shiny but again, has a wonderful scent.
L’Occitane Angelica Hydration Cream – I love the Angelica range but I have to say that this must be my least favourite product that I’ve tried from it mainly because of the texture and the smell (it was different than the typical for the series). However, I can’t talk about the effect because it’s hard to conclude something for a skincare product in such a short time.

Have you tried any of these products?

*PR Sample

An Elbow Helper

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Are you among the people who always suffer from some skin change when you’re away from home? I guess the majority of us experience this. Hopefully, it would be just a small problem and nothing serious but a problem is a problem.

So, although I was away for just a couple of days at the beginning of the week, my elbows decided to act strange. We all know that elbows usually get very dry and we should moisturise them often. I’m trying to take care of them as part of my body but I still can’t explain to myself what happened several days ago. My skin on that area got really dry, it was even painful. I didn’t take many products with me but I noticed that I’ve grabbed the travel size of the Vichy NutriExtra Body Cream. Of course, I decided to give it a go.

I know that this is not a review on a new product but I was impressed with how quickly this cream solved my problem. After applying it, my elbows got really soft and the pain was gone almost immediately.

Now, to tell you more about the cream if you haven’t tried it. It has a rich texture, you need just a tiny bit of the product, smells really nice and absorbs quickly without leaving an oily residue. It’s paraben-free. Feels very soothing, I suppose it’s because of the thermal water in it. And exactly the soothing feeling made me like this cream so much, it’s something that I usually associate with herb products (which I adore!) but this one surprised me.

I’m pretty sure I will start bringing this cream with me all the time.