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January Favourites

It’s the last day of the first month of 2018! Time really flies!
And although the flowers above are making it seem like it’s already spring, it feels like winter has absolutely no intentions to leave, not just yet.

But I have to say this winter has been quite mild although my skin is still a bit dehydrated. I just recently did a review on the Votary Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil here, so I will try not to repeat myself but I’d like to say that cleansing oils usually break me out and this one was such a joy to find and to start using. It’s great on my combination but dehydrated skin, it cleanses it really gently yet effectively and it makes me look forward to my evening skincare routine every day.

After I was suggested by a dermatologist to try wearing less makeup, now I’d just go for concealer, powder, mascara and lip balm. I’m not an eyeshadow person, I’ve said that before but somehow I like it when my eyes look a bit more defined. I prefer a soft wash of colour that looks elegant and makes the eyes pop. There have been a few options that I’ve been reaching for a lot but today, I’d like to share with you this mini of the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst. The shade is something between a soft mauve and warm taupe and has kind of a bronze metallic finish, it’s simply stunning and I feel like it would look great on everyone. The formula is creamy and glides on easily, blends like a dream and it’s extremely long-lasting. I always have to use a primer because everything creases on my lids except for this one! I forgot to use a primer a few times before applying Amethyst and whenever I looked in the mirror, it stayed perfect. The colour is very pigmented but flattering and not screaming. I use this as an eyeshadow or as a liner, I like smudging it over my bottom lash line, it’s also fantastic for a smokey eye.

My hands are very dry at the moment, it always happens at this time of the year, I wash them too often and I don’t apply hand creams regularly. The one that’s been giving me quick results though comes from Burt’s Bees and it’s their Ultimate Care Hand Cream for extremely dry skin. It seems like it’s possible that packaging is slightly different now or it’s just because I have minis but I found two in my stash and I’ve been keeping one at home and one in my handbag. This hand cream has been a true saviour, thanks to the Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil and a natural fruit acid complex to gently exfoliate the skin. It’s 98.9% natural, it’s has a rich, thick consistency but it’s not too heavy or greasy. It has a light scent that is quite natural. Although my hands are still dry and nothing can really cure them right now, this hand cream makes such a difference to them whenever I apply it, it instantly hydrates and nourishes while keeping the effect for a few hours. I like to apply it at night and wake up to smooth and soft hands which doesn’t happen very often in the winter.

There are two hair products that really helped me keep my locks nourished and shiny during the windy and rainy winter days. When I first got the ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud in my Liberty Advent Calendar, I thought it would be just an extra step that wouldn’t do much of a difference. But oh, was I wrong… Essentially, it’s a pre-shampoo treatment that you spread all over damp hair (I concentrate on my scalp) and leave it on for at least 20 minutes or overnight. I’ve never used it as an overnight mask, I just can’t imagine going to bed with damp hair and clay that dries out on my head. I’d leave it on for 30-60 minutes, then rinse it off and then continue with my usual shampoo. This treatment would be suitable for any hair type, considering how my roots get greasy quite easily and this product doesn’t do that. The first time I used it, I couldn’t believe how soft (but not frizzy), shiny and simply wonderful my hair looked.
ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud contains Vitamin C-rich Watercress and Red Clay to soothe and nourish the scalp, Castor Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil for strong and healthy-looking hair and even Rose Flower Extract. The brand suggests that the product can be used on dry skin on the body, as well. After applying it on my scalp and hair, I usually massage what’s left on my hands and it feels really nice, especially now that they’re so dry.
This treatment would be great for those of you who suffer from flaky scalp in the colder months, it’s very soothing and replenishing.
I haven’t tried other products from ESPA but I might need to… or at least get a full size of their pink mud.

Once a week I like to deep cleanse my hair. I often feature purifying shampoos on my blog, I try different ones all the time and it was quite surprising for me that I hadn’t used the following cult classic before. Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo* is a product everybody knows about but somehow it was never available around me.
Before I continue, I’d like to mention that this product is supposed to be used as a daily shampoo or as a pre-cleanse treatment once a week before a regular shampoo.
The Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo* has paraben- and silicone-free formula and is made with Onsen (Japanese hot spring) inspired ferment that are known in Japan for their purifying qualities. It keeps scalp’s balance while gently cleanses the hair. The texture is quite lightweight and easy to work with, it lathers nicely and makes my hair clean and soft.
I wouldn’t say it keeps it cleaner for longer than other shampoos but I wash my hair every other day, I always wash it twice and that’s pretty often, so, for me, it’s more important that this product doesn’t irritate and dry out my scalp. It draws out impurities and buildup while keeping the moisture and volume and leaving a nice delicate scent.

It’s been quite rainy in the past couple of weeks here which tends to make me more tired and in a dismal mood. So, I’ve been looking forward to every evening when I can just shut the bathroom door, take a hot shower and do my skincare routine. Such simple rituals make me feel relaxed and there’s been one body product that makes the whole experience even more enjoyable. I got the Decléor 100 Grain Body Exfoliator in their advent calendar and to be honest, I didn’t think I would like it. I rarely like body scrubs because they’re either too harsh or dissolve much before I manage to exfoliate my skin. However, Decléor 100 Grain Body Exfoliator might be the best body exfoliant I’ve ever used. It’s suggested to use on dry skin and to make the application easier, to apply an oil before that. I’ve tried using on damp skin, as well and I still love it. The formula is enriched with Grapefruit Essential Oil, Pear Sugar, Argan Shell, Orange Peel and Fruit Acids such as Grape, Pineapple and Passion Fruit. The gel turns into an oil when you start massaging it into the skin and then it gets milky in contact with water which makes it really easy to rinse off. It leaves my skin so soft and smooth, as if I’ve applied a body oil, hydrated and nourished. And the scent… I can’t describe it but it’s gorgeous and if you’ve tried anything from the brand, you probably know what I mean.

Last but certainly not least, one of my all-time favourite scents, Thé Noir 29 by Le Labo. I don’t think I can describe with words how beautiful this perfume is. It’s addictive, it’s deep but fresh, it’s leafy and dry. We all know that fragrances feel different on different skin, on me, Thé Noir 29 is like a cup of black tea with fig and bay leaves present, it’s a bit smokey and woody, rich and bitter. It’s not difficult for me to fall in love with this fragrance, considering how much I adore fig scents. But the fig here is different, it’s dry and dark, rather than juicy and fruity. I can feel Thé Noir 29 even at the end of the day, after I take a shower, it’s still there, on my pillow, at night and the morning after, it’s amazing…

And while I’m still lost in this gorgeous creation and the idea of it, it’s time to say goodbye to January and to welcome February.

*PR Sample

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Votary Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil


It might seem a bit strange but one of the least talked about skincare products on my blog is cleansing oil. The truth is that most of the ones I’ve tried break me out (unfortunately, the same applies for most of the cleansing balms I’ve used) and my favourite cleansing oil is quite hard to get hold of.

So, I’m always quite nervous whenever I’m trying different ones but at the same time, I really hope to find cleansing oils that don’t irritate my skin. When I found the Votary Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil in my Liberty Advent Calendar, at first, the essential oils in the ingredients list made me a bit unsure, as they can be troubling for me. But I decided to try it and I started using it every night and occasionally, on a colder morning when my skin feels a bit more dry.

I have a beautiful 50 ml glass bottle of the cleansing oil, it usually comes in 100 ml, it has a pump and a lovely face cloth in 100% cotton. Votary Cleansing Oil is made from 100% natural plant oils like Sunflower Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Rose Geranium Flower Oil and Chamomile Flower Oil. The consistency is quite thin and almost watery which for me, personally, is great because it feels light on my skin and I can also massage my face a bit longer. Some cleansing oils are just too thick for that.

I use this cleansing oil as a morning cleanse or a second cleanse in the evening after I’ve taken my makeup off with another product. In the morning I apply one pump of the oil and in the evening – two. I prefer to use it on dry skin but my hands would usually be damp, it’s just how I prefer it but you can use it with dry hands on dry skin, as well. Then I massage my face and neck and at the end, I remove it with a clean hot flannel. When I proceed to my toning step, there’s nothing left on the cotton pad, my skin is clean, soft and hydrated but like I said, I don’t use the oil to take makeup off. The texture of the cleansing oil is beautiful, it’s easy to spread and to massage your face with it. It leaves my skin smooth and nourished and the best part is that it doesn’t break me out. In fact, after a month of using it, my skin looks a bit clearer, brighter and more balanced.
I’m not sure how it would perform on a hot summer day, considering how my skin tends to freak out in the warmer months but for me, this is an amazing cleansing oil that doesn’t strip my skin in the freezing days.

It’s definitely a pricey product that I can try thanks to the advent calendar but I’m really happy to have this possibility because it is a wonderful cleansing oil for my winter skin. My evening skincare routine got even more enjoyable, thanks to the soothing scent and beautiful texture of the Votary Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil.