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Germany Drugstore Beauty Haul | Fall 2018

So, we had a short trip to Germany and if it wasn’t for the rush, it would have been perfect. Weather was wonderful and everything seemed so peaceful, I miss peaceful places and days, everything seems so crazy nowadays.

Before leaving for Germany I placed a pharmacy order with a few CeraVe products, as I’ve been really interested in trying them for a pretty long time. I just started using the Hydrating Facial Cleanser and so far, it seems really mild and gentle on the skin while removing all the impurities. I also wanted to try their Foaming Facial Cleanser and then picked up the Daily Moisturising Lotion that can be used on face and body (sadly, the eczema line was not available and I was hoping to get something for my dry legs) and the PM Facial Moisturising Lotion that also contains my favourite Niacinamide.

During the short period of time we were in Germany, I managed to enjoy visits at a couple of their drugstores and I didn’t want to leave. Everything was so interesting for me but I was mainly attracted to the colourful hair and body products. I got only one makeup item, the Catrice Slim’matic Ultra Precise Brow Pencil. I’m always on the hunt for a replacement of my Soap & Glory pencil and this one looked promising at first, I got the darkest shade available, 040 Cool Brown, a really good match for me, the pencil glides on easily and it’s indeed precise. The downside is that it’s too soft for such type of brow product and it just won’t last that long, I feel as if there’s only half left in the packaging although I’ve used it just a few times.

Sheet masks are something I’m not really using at the moment, so I picked up only 3. The Garnier SkinActive Pure Charcoal Black Tissue Mask seemed interesting because it promises pore-tightening and purifying effects. Honestly, I’m not such a fan of the brand’s sheet masks but they surely look tempting. Then I saw the adorable-looking Balea Happy Macarons Sheet Mask with Hyaluronic Acid and Blueberry Extract and the Balea Aqua Sheet Mask. I love the Aqua range, so I had to repurchase one of my favourite drugstore hyaluronic acid serums, the Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum. I’ve talked about it many times on the blog, I’ve featured it in annual favourites, as well and whenever I have the chance, I just get it.

I’ve never tried a Dontodent toothpaste (DM’s own brand) but I noticed they had a limited edition Ginger & Lemon Balm one, it looks so retro that I added it to my shopping basket.

As to hair, mini treatments are always good to have when travelling and Germany’s drugstores had quite the choice but I ended up getting the L’Oréal Elvital Anti-Breakage Treatment and the Balea Avocado Hair Mask minis.
I was so curious about the Garnier Fructis Hair Food Masks but they had just two types, so I decided to go for the Banana one. If you love banana scents, you will like this one, it’s lovely and it also nourishes my hair and makes it smoother and more shiny. I will be surely talking more about it once I’ve properly tested it out.
There were not that many shampoos that caught my eye, unfortunately. I remember that I liked the Balea Professional line before and I noticed it’s changed a bit and I don’t think I’ve seen the Clay Shampoo. It’s supposed to help with oily roots and dry ends, so I’m looking forward to trying it. The second one is a sulphate-free shampoo and I love finding new sulphate-free shampoos and cleansers and toothpastes… I hope this Nature Box Apricot Oil Shampoo will be a good one. It comes with 100% cold-pressed apricot oil, known for containing vitamins and antioxidants and is supposed to restore the shine of the hair.
Then I went to the baby section and I found one more sulphate-free shampoo. It’s from DM’s own brand Babylove and it should be quite calming and soothing. And while I was browsing the aisle, I also picked up the Cleansing Gel from the range, it’s said it can be used ”from head to toe”, so it should be another gentle product.

I’ve tried shaving foams from Balea before and now they have smaller versions of them. The Limited Edition Lovely Couple Shaving Foam has a Fig, Peony & Magnolia scent and it’s said to be good even for sensitive skin. The bottle looks really pretty and I remember they usually last quite a long time, so it’s a great budget buy.

Balea always offer colourful and fun body washes and even if they contain sulphates (I’m not saying it’s terrible, I just try to avoid sulphates because of skin issues), they smell wonderful and I can’t help myself but picking up a few. The Soft Shower Oil is something I’d like to try in the winter because it’s supposed to be purifying and hydrating at the same time. They also had a Shower Cream in a Rostock Limited Edition and the scent is of Raspberry and Lime. The traditional shower gels come in a large fruity variety and my choice ended up being the Star Fruit & Melon and the Cactus & Fig ones.
Kneipp never fail to offer fresh-scented summer body washes. Their shower foams are some of my favourites ones and I’ve had the Watermelon & Mint fragrance in a shower gel form which I loved, so now I want to try the shower foam version. I’m also looking forward to trying the Shower Tonic with Pink Grapefruit & Vetiver.
I’m familiar with CD‘s aluminum-free deodorants but I’ve never tried anything else from them. The Mint & Cucumber Morning Fresh Body Wash sounds so refreshing, perfect for the last summer mornings.
And last but not least, two of my favourite body brands. Weleda Feel Good Spicey Ginger Body Wash
and Sante Happiness Organic Orange & Mango Shower Gel are exactly what I’m looking for in a body wash, gentle formula, beautiful texture and lovely scent.

I’m looking forward to trying all these new products and I’m in particular curious about the CeraVe range. I hear so many dermatologists talk about and a lot of skincare bloggers seem to love it, as well. I’ll be also posting updates on my Instagram.

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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.

2016 Beauty Favourites

20161230_115800postHappy New Year! I really hope 2017 will be much much better, happier and healthier than 2016! Wish all of you and your families a wonderful year filled with joy and love!

It is now time to start talking about some annual beauty favourites. This year, I decided to form only two categories: skincare and makeup.

20161230_120420postSkincare Products

There are two cleansers I’ve been really loving, both were released in the second half of the year, one is my morning cleanser and then the one that I like using in the evening. Bioderma Sensibio Gel Moussant is a really gentle face wash suitable even for sensitive skin. It feels refreshing and soothing at the same time. You can read my full review on it here. This is a mini of my Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam and you can see what the original size looks like here. I wouldn’t say it’s a foam, it’s more of a cleansing cream that has milky texture once it’s in contact with the skin. I love the calming scent and how delicate it feels on my skin, it’s just so moisturising but purifying at the same time.
My love for toners and face mists is no secret and it was really hard for me to choose which one to include here, so I decided to mention two of my favourite mists. I’ve already used up a few bottles of the REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist (review here) because it’s refreshing and can be used before or after putting makeup but also, it protects against environmental aggressors with Zinc and Manganese Amino Acids to track down free radicals and protect skin from oxidative stress. La Roche-Posay Serozinc is my choice when it comes to taking care of my combination skin. It mattifies it without being drying and heals blemishes quicker than usual. I always stock up on this mist whenever I’m in London.
The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is still my number 1 hydrating mask, it’s just the best!
L’Oréal Pure-Clay Masks* are my absolute favourites when it comes to purifying face masks. Not only they are easy to get because you can find them at the drugstore but they are incredibly good. You can read all about my experience here because I just can’t pick one to talk about.
Another great find from the drugstore is this Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum. It’s my second bottle of it, it comes with a pump, the formula contains hydrating and soothing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E and leaves my skin moisturised without feeling sticky or greasy.
My morning and evening moisturising duo must be from Clinique. I’m sure everybody knows about their Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief* but I don’t see many people talking about the Clinique Superdefense Night Recovery Moisturiser (review here). This is my second pot of the cream after I was sent one when it launched at the beginning of the year and I can’t recommend it enough. I remember how dry and irritated my skin was in the winter in Norway and this moisturiser completely transformed it.
I had to mention La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] Unifiant which I reviewed here because it has the same properties like Duo [+] but with a tint and provides pretty good coverage that evens out my complexion and makes me look a bit more healthy.
Last but not least in this skincare category is my favourite multi-purpose moisturiser. Weleda Skin Food is a gem and the whole family loves it. It’s soothing, it’s moisturising, the formula contains plant oils and extracts, it smells clean and it’s simply lovely.

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Makeup Products

This category has to start with my favourite foundation, Dior DIORSKIN Forever Perfect Skin-Perfecting Foundation SPF 35 (review here). It has great coverage but looks natural, it mattifies my skin but also makes it radiant, it lasts all day and I haven’t found a better foundation since I first tried it.
The best concealer I found in 2016 is a drugstore one. It’s from Aura and it’s called Correct Me! Concealer. I use it under the eyes and around the face because it’s pigmented and creamy, the shade range is really good for an affordable brand but the downside is, it can’t be found in many countries.
The new Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel* is my favourite brow product for last year although I’ve been using for just about a month. It creates full and natural-looking brows, fills in the sparse areas and lasts all day.
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in the shade 10 Nude Mauve is a lovely blush that can be used as a bronzer, as well or just to add this healthy pop of colour to the complexion that we always need. It’s luminous and finely-milled, it’s simply beautiful.
My favourite highlighter for 2016 is without a doubt the Urban Decay Afterglow 8-hour Powder Highlighter in the shade Sin* from their summer collection. It’s a gorgeous champagne shade, you can see it swatched here and it’s quite a strong one but the texture is so creamy that you can control the intensity.
There are three palettes I’ve been loving in 2016: an eyeshadow palette, a face palette and a lip one. The We Care Icon I Love Tigers Nude Palette is from a Finnish brand and it’s my most-used one maybe because I don’t wear that much eye makeup in my everyday life but these eyeshadows just add a little something to the whole look. You can read my post on the palette here.
I know that this Estée Lauder Summer Glow Multi-Palette* (review and swatches here) was a limited edition for the summer season but it’s still available on some places, so it’s not impossible to find it. The texture of all three products is soft and fine, the shades look natural on the skin and I loved using the palette in the summer on my face but also, on my eyes.
Travel-friendly products are something I always appreciate and that’s one of the reasons why I love L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Lips in Nudeso much. It’s elegant, it has a mirror, the shade selection is brilliant and I often end up mixing shades to create a custom one.
Speaking of lip products, I knew they would take the biggest part of my makeup favourites but I couldn’t help it. Dior Addict Lip Glow in 005 Lilac (review here) has been the one colour I really wanted and they finally launched it at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, it was a limited edition but I see they will be soon releasing a Berry shade!
The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector family welcomed two new members in the spring, 07 Toffee Pink Shimmer, a beautiful dusky rose colour and 08 Plum Shimmer, a muted berry shade. I’ve mentioned multiple times how much I love these balms and the new shades are just perfect to have in your handbag.
I remember how excited I was when I learned about the Lancôme Juicy Shakers. I love the brand’s products, I adore Lisa Eldridge and I wasn’t disappointed by these tinted lip oils. I have a whole post dedicated to them here.
NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita (review here) is the most beautiful vintage rose shade I’ve ever seen. It’s flattering, it’s sophisticated, feels comfortable on the lips and will always remind me of the most wonderful holiday in Rome me and my boyfriend had.
There are some amazing shades in the Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Lip Colour range. I love that the colour is buildable and you can control how intense you want it to be, the formula is lightweight and luminous and the scent is beautiful.
One of the latest and best lipstick releases in 2016 came from MAC and their Liptensity* range. The colours are bold, saturated and unique, the formula is creamy and long-lasting and I love how the packaging is colour-coded.
I also wanted to mention the cute L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume that I always have in my handbag even if it’s winter because it makes me think of sunny days, the scent is beautiful and it’s easy to top up your fragrance with it.

These are most of my favourite products for last year but before I leave, I would like to wish you to be safe, happy, loved and may the new year bring us all amazing days!

*PR Samples

Munich Beauty Haul | June 2016

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Last week, my boyfriend had a trip to Munich. He asked me if I needed anything and although I really didn’t, there were a few products that seemed interesting to me and that could be found only in Germany. Sadly, most of them were sold out, so he picked up things he thought I might like.

The Kaufmanns Cream was one of the items that I really wanted to stock up on (luckily he got 3!) because I love using it when my lips are really dry and there isn’t another place where they have it. There’s also a new tube of the amazing multi-purpose Weleda Skin Food which is great because it’s the 75 ml one and it turned out that it’s not so easy to find this bigger version. Another skincare items is the Alverde Wild Rose Facial Oil which I’ve been wanting for such a long time but always forget to get when I’m in Germany or home. My mum talks about it all the time, she loves it and I hope it will get along with my skin, as well.

I love the Ebelin Professional brushes, so I wanted another one of their most popular Blending Brush and also decided to try the Eyeshadow & Concealer Brush which seems a bit stiff and hard at the moment but I haven’t tried it more than a couple of times.

The mini hair masks from Swiss O’ Par aren’t something new for me, I like how portable they are, they have many scents to choose from and my boyfriend decided to pick up the Orange, Maracuja and Kiwi ones. On my list, I also had my beloved Balea Peach & Coconut Hair Milk, a fantastic leave-in conditioner from the drugstore. Plus, it smells of peaches rather than coconut, doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy and makes it shiny and soft.

I’ve shared before that L’Occitane and their products feel very sentimental to me, I always connect them to trips and stories, so my boyfriend picked up two items from them. They’re both from the Cherry Blossom range and they are Bath & Shower Gel and Solid Perfume. L’Occitane are famous for their amazing body washes, so I can’t wait to try this one but also, I’ve been so curious about their solid perfumes! They are adorable-looking, you can carry them around in your bag and top up your fragrance throughout the day and this scent is just perfect for the spring and summer, delicate, feminine and a bit sweet.
He also noticed some new shower foams from Bilou and picked up the Cherry Blossom and Splashy Melon scents. I haven’t tried them yet but I learnt they are pretty popular in Germany at the moment.
Balea always surprise with new scents and huge tubes of their body washes, so my better half added the Sweet Smoothie Shower Gel to his shopping basket. Another item from Balea is the new limited edition Body Gelée with Mint and Watermelon scent. I really wanted to try it because it sounded interesting and indeed, it is. I think it’s great for the warmer months because it sinks into the skin very quickly, leaving a fresh scent. It doesn’t feel sticky, at all and although, it doesn’t have the best moisturising properties, it’s still a great one to use after a morning shower, for example.

Unfortunately, it seems that Yves Rocher have discontinued their signature fruity fragrances. I’m not completely sure if that’s the case but it makes me very sad because they were perfect for the summer days. At the end, my boyfriend decided to pick up two of their deodorants in the Lotus Flower and Spanish Pomegranate scents.

Me and my mum (plus my boyfriend’s granny) have something like an obsession with soaps. There are so many beautiful ones with gorgeous scents that it’s hard to stay neutral to them. We’ve had a few of the Crabtree & Evelyn soaps before and we loved them, so my boyfriend decided to get the Pear & Pink Magnolia, Black Sea Mud & Seaweed and Almond Milk & Honey ones. On the way back, he saw a Jo Malone counter and picked up their Blackberry & Bay Bath Soap which is almost too beautiful to use and smells amazing.

I’ll be sharing more about some of the products once I’ve tried them for a few weeks but so far, I’m really enjoying the new additions and I’m quite happy to have a backup of some old favourites.