I was at my brows…

Referring to my last post and the brows I wasn’t too satisfied with… well… my bf thought he wanted to fix it. So here we go…

2014-04-20 18.35.59

So I thought I would repay his kind offer, and I fixed his eyebrows as well…..

IMG-20140420-WA0067

What do you girls think? Which one of us did a better job?

FYI… Products used: Rimmel eyebrow pencil in dark brown on me, and the same on Anthony plus the Milani Tint Pen in dark brown.

Happy Easter everyone :)

Maria xoxo

 

Eco Friendly Living eye makeup remover

I always use waterproof mascara, so a good eye makeup remover is very important for me. I swear by the L’Oreal Gentle Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover – I have been using it for more than 10 years! However, sometimes I get curious to try out other eye makeup removers and see how they work out. I have tried an Elizabeth Arden one, and currently bought the one from Nivea, but today I’m reviewing the Eco Friendly Living eye makeup remover.

ecofriendlyliving

What attracted me to this product was that the ingredients are all-natural and organic. It’s just a mixture of oils – and I thought oil is what I need to remove waterproof makeup anyway. I bought it on etsy! Unfortunately this thing hasn’t worked very well for me. It’s just very… oily… and I’m not used to the consistency – I get oil everywhere, and it gets on my contacts so that’s defo not good. Besides, it is not removing my waterproof eye makeup as effectively as the L’Oreal one… I usually pour my remover on a cotton pad, put it on my eye for a few seconds, and then start pat the makeup off.

The Eco Friendly Living remover is just not working well for me, so instead of keeping it in the drawer or chuck it out - I use it for when I wash my brushes. It is very effective to wash brushes with an oil as it will get rid of the stubborn makeup (especially foundation) in the brushes. I let the brushes soak in a mixture of this remover, some water and a little bit of shampoo. And then I wash them again with shampoo to get rid of all the oil. You can use this tip for any other makeup removing products that you regret buying..

What is your favourite eye makeup remover?

Maria xoxo

Nailtiques formula 2

I realised it’s been more than 2 weeks ago I have blogged. I have been super busy, and my living situation is not ideal right now, so all my stuff is shuffed into small makeup bags, so I haven’t been playing around with different products lately.

2014-03-26 22.28.41

My nails have always been soft, peeled and chipped. I have tried out many different products and I keep moisturising my cuticles but nothing has worked as well as my newly discovered wonder product! Yes, with Nailtiques formula 2, I can now have a few millimetres of nails that are looking pretty and non-chipped!

IMG_6314

I was quite sceptical in the beginning. People rave about OPI Envy, but that one actually made my nails worse. So after that episode, I haven’t really been very keen on trying this kind of nail strengthener. My Nailtiques formula 2 arrived 3 weeks ago, and I have been following the instructions religiously; you’re supposed to apply a layer every day, and remove it once a week with a remover with acetone.

IMG_6316

The smell is very strong, and you should avoid touching the cuticles. The brush is really nice and application is very easy. They say that it’s packed with hydrolized keratin, gelatin and calcium – all ingredients that strengthen nails. But how can I just put on a layer of stuff and my nails just turn hard and stop chipping and splitting? I’m thinking that it must contain some strong chemicals, but what the heck… it’s working and how can it hurt me???

IMG_6317

I have never had nails looking this fine, and I’m so excited that I can finally put nail polishes on my long nails. Well… not that long – I just like to have a few millimetres as you see on the picture.

IMG_6318

It has been 3 weeks for me now (you can see on the above picture how much I’ve used), and I will decrease the use and see how that goes. They say that Nailtiques formula 2 can be worn under nail polishes.

My Nailtiques formula 2 was bought on beautybay.com. Usually I don’t like to buy things on their page because the prices are quite steep as you don’t have to pay shipping fee. I couldn’t really figure out where else to get it, so I just bought it for 18€. Very expensive, but in my opinion worth it. I give this bottle full points. I love it and will continue using it!

You can view their official website here.

Have you tried it? Do you have a nail wonder product?

Maria xoxo

Addition – warning:

I did some extra research after I wrote this post. On Makeupalley, it has got 4,5 lipsticks (out of 5) of 195 reviews, and on amazon 4,5 stars (out of 5) of 89 reviews. I just want to point out that one should be careful with the Nailtiques formula 2 regardless. Some people have experienced scary conditions such as pain and nails starting to loosen from the nail beds. And just when I removed it today, my fingers are throbbing a little, and the nail bed of my left middle finger is a little bit loose. I though it was because I banged it into something while I was doing the dishes. So I went on the internet and did some extra research and found out that some people have had some bad side effects. It is no doubt some strong chemicals I’m putting on my nails, and will be much more careful with it. I’m thinking of using it once a week from now on – that should be okay.

My current skin care routine

Babbling quite a lot about skin care products and brands lately in this post, and miscellar waters in this, I want to go through my current skin care routine.

Daily skincare routine

Day time

  1. Cleanse: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser
  2. Tone: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner
  3. Exfoliant for deep cleansing: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
  4. Eye: Anatomicals Eye Cream You Scream We All Scream for Eye Cream
  5. Moisturise: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser
  6. Lips: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

Night time

7. Eye makeup remover: L’Oreal Gentle Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

8. Makeup remover: Bioderma Sebium H2O Solution Micellaire. I like to double cleanse. So I use a micellar water to remove the first yucky layer of makeup before I wash my face with a cleanser.

  • All the day time steps

That’s it :) My skin is feeling happy these days, so I will stick to these products for now.

What I’m considering to get/asking for recommendations for:

  • A serum/treatment for scarring from my breakout. Any good recommendation?
  • A cleansing/moisturising mask. Am I supposed to use both kind of masks? Or just one of them according to my skin type? Any good recommendation here?

I would really appreciate your help for some advise :)

Maria xoxo

 

Img sources:

Anatomicals eye cream: http://www.superdrug.com/anatomicals/anatomicals-eye-cream-we-all-scream-15ml/invt/611253

Elizabeth Arden: http://www.elizabetharden.com/Eight-Hour%C2%AE-Cream-Skin-Protectant/10014252000,default,pd.html

L’oreal eye makeup remover: http://www.lorealparis.com.au/cosmetics/cleansing/gentle-eye-make-up-remover/gentle-eye-make-up-remover-eyes-and-lips-waterproof.aspx

Bioderma micellar water: http://www.bioderma.com/en/the-products/what-s-new/product//148.html

 

Tips for cold sores

Yes, I am one of those that are dealing with cold sores. It is a very common thing, and many people have them. Yet, it is so embarrassing and annoying the 10 odd days it is breaking out. Why does it feel like it is such a taboo? Well. There is not much to do than just wait till it passes away. In the meantime, it is important to keep a few tips in mind!!!

Of course, I have something big coming up, and boom – I’ve got my cold sore on my upper lip. Now that I am currently dealing with it, I want to share a few tips with you:

  • Don’t touch it because you can infect yourself anywhere else on your own body!
  • Yet, it is easy to forget. So make sure you wash your hands before going to the toilet!!
  • Don’t kiss your partner, or just anyone.
  • Don’t share cups & glasses with anyone.
  • You can infect your partner ANY WHERE on his/her body………. so be careful! (also commonly called Type2 herpes – HSV2 while the “normal” herpes is HSV1)
  • Don’t put any kind of moisture on your cold sore. You’ll just be “feeding” it. This includes any kind of makeup to camouflage it. Let it dry out and fall off.
  • Use a separate towel for your face and body. Avoid to touch the cold sore even with the face towel. I use paper to pat it dry, and then throw it out.
  • Wash makeup brushes and disinfect the makeup!!!
  • If you are using a lip balm – throw it out. Unless you are using those where you squeeze the product out. At least disinfect the opening.
  • AFTER the cold sore is gone, make sure to change out all the towels, and change out your tooth brush(es)!

My breakouts span from twice a year to every second year. Mostly, stress is the main factor that causes me to get a breakout. Sometimes, it can also be too much exposure to the sun.

Are you also dealing with cold sores? How do you feel about it? Do you have any good remedies for cold sores??

Maria xoxo

Raising money for breast cancer #nomakeupselfie

I browsed by Steph’s blog with a post on raising money for breast cancer with a selfie tagged #nomakeupselfie. I thought it was a fun way to spread the word for supporting breast cancer funds. I have been donating to the breast cancer fund for years, and have been participating their events also. So I thought that I might as well do this fun tag and post a picture of me and my bare face.

2014-03-24 08.34.25

I have shortly googled the #nomakeupselfie trend that suddenly got viral. More specifically, I read an article by ctvnews here. The trend started when the author Laura Lippman tweeted a picture of herself with no makeup and tagged it #nomakeupselfie. This was an act to support the 81-year old Novak that was criticised for her appearance during the Oscars Academy Awards.

The author pointed out that this trend had been criticised because the campaign was comparing no-makeup with cancer. The #nomakeupselfie thing has also been linked to a brave act – which I am a little sceptical about (is posting a picture of yourself, yes, even without makeup, supposed to be brave?). A third point of view was seeing it as an act to expose one’s vulnerability – “the same way that we’re all vulnerable to cancer”. You can read all the sources on their page.

As I am from Denmark, I have been donating to http://stoetbrysterne.dk/

Have you donated yet?

Maria xoxo

Urban Decay Black Market

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil Set in Black Market. 6 gorgeous discreet shades . 0.8 g, meaning that they are travel size.
IMG_5944

IMG_5945

What can I say. I wish I could say that I just absolutely love them. They glide on smoothly, but they smudge off during the day on me. They are also not as pigmented as I wish they were. When using these, I have to repeat application a few times to get an ok coverage so they are easily used up.

I do like the shades in this set, though.

  • West: The brown in the set. A deep chocolate brown with a discreet shimmery finish to it. The most pigmented of the bunch.
  • Desperation: A matte taupe. The only matte in the set. Not very pigmented.
  • Black market: The black shade in the set. It’s not an intense black, but more on the grey side.
  • Riot: I would describe this colour as aubergine/eggplants. There are tiny purple shimmers in it. Very pretty shade.
  • Apathy: Beautiful moldy green/army green satin-y shade.
  • Ink: A royal blue with a satin finish.

For the staying power, I am not very impressed at all. They smudge off on me even though I am wearing them with Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. The following pictures are me wearing Apathy as the only thing on my lid on top of the Primer Potion. That was about an hour after application, and I was staying at home all that time. No filter, retouch or photoshop of the below pictures. As you can see, the liner has literally migrated downwards!

UD liner

The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on pencils have received remarkable reviews – which was why I got them. After having tried them, I personally do not think that these liners are that great.

There you have it. My honest opinion about these liners.

Maria xoxo

Micellar waters

Hey girls….

Today, I’m going to talk about micellar waters… For those of you that don’t know what it is, I’ll shortly explain first; It is a makeup remover. It is in a liquid form. Just pour it on a cotton pad, and wipe your makeup off. Micellar waters are especially popular among makeup artists as they can quickly remove makeup between looks.

There is just one thing I want to point out: many people use this as a remover and cleanser in one. I always go for a DOUBLE-CLEANSE! So I use the micellar water to remove the first layer of the makeup, and then I wash my face with a face cleanser. In my opinion, this hype has gone a little wild. Whilst those brands claim that their micellar waters have a 3 in 1 function (remove makeup, cleanse and add moisture), I do not believe in such a wonder product – that this one bottle can replace remover, cleanser, toner, and moisturiser.

Micellar waters have become very popular the last few years, and still more brands come out with their version of it. The first one that got the big breakthrough is the Bioderma ones. They have a few versions for sensitive (clear bottle with pink lid) / combination or oily (blue bottle with green lid) skin. The blue bottle is the only one I have tried. I have become extremely fond of the idea of a micellar water, and I will definitely keep using one. However, I seek for cheaper alternatives. So I did a quick google, and want to share my thoughts with you guys.

  • For the drugstore alternatives, I know that Nivea, Garnier and L’Oreal all have a micellar water.
  • For the classical French pharma brands; Vichy, La Roche Posay and Avène make them.
  • Vogue also recommends other high end ones such as TAAJ, Decléor, Dior, Darphin, REN etc.. See their top 10 here.

As my evening routine doesn’t 100% rely on this one product, I am more liable to go for a cheaper alternative. I am running low, hence this post about my considerations for a new one. Right now, the Nivea one appeals to me as it is free of parabens and parfume. The other drugstore micellar waters have also received good reviews.

What do you use to remove your makeup and clean your face with in the evening?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Maria xoxo

Skin care and problem skin and acne talk

Skin care has become a very sensitive area for me to talk about. When I was younger (including my teenage years), my skin was perfect to the point where people actually commented on my great skin.

In my mid 20′s, things started to happen. Especially in summer 2013, my skin broke out to a point I would call it acne. It was a really hard time for me emotionally – I went to being proud of my skin to being very embarrassed about it. I started to search into acne in general and looked for products that could help me.

I have been in Asia before – China for 1,5 years and Hong Kong half with no problem. Then I just suddenly broke out in Hong Kong that summer. I went back to the cold (but fresh-aired) Denmark for 3 months, and my skin cleared up. I then went back to Hong Kong again for 10 months, and I started to break out again. Now, I have been home in Europe for 2 months, and it’s getting a little better again.

The tricky thing is that there could be many reasons for my breakout. It could be:

  • air pollution
  • stress level (I was extremely stressed in Hong Kong)
  • hormonal (going on and off with birth control)
  • the food (I ate out every day in Hong Kong)
  • products used (the different products I have been using the past few years).
  • Ohter factors??

I still don’t know exactly what caused my severe skin problems. I am just so grateful for it being better now.

My experience has made be become much more concious of what I put on my face, and try to stay away from scents and other bad stuff.

I have tried out some different products the last few years. I will be going through some interesting brands I have tried, and some brands I haven’t tried (yet).

Michael Todd true organics

“Just as important as what we put in our products… is what we don’t put in. We don’t use potentially harmful parabens, sulfates, artificial coloring, synthetic dyes, mineral oil, phthalates or triclosan so you can use our products without health concerns.” – Michael Todd

Michael Todd

Michael Todd is a really good brand. And by this, I have taken their customer service in mind also. I was unlucky to try them out in a period where my skin was absolutely horrible. So I can’t really judge the products as neutrally as if I tried them again now. Right now, I don’t NEED any more skin care products, but might be liable to buy/repurchase the following products:

  • Charcoal Detox cleanser – I have heard a lot about this one, and might still want to try it.
  • Citrus spray – can be used with makeup on and gives a refreshed kick. I like the idea. Have never tried it before though.
  • Pumpkin mask – I got this in a sample size, and loved it. I feel like my skin really gets cleaned, and I also liked the tingly feeling when applied.
  • Blue Green Algae Toner – I have gone through a bottle of this one. Still a little unsure whether I like the scent or not. What I like about it is that it has an anti-bacterial formula.

Read the review I have done on their customer service here, and the products here.

Kiehl’s

“Ingredients are not chosen on their aesthetic merit – only formulas with ingredients that are truly beneficial to the skin are selected. We select many naturally derived ingredients and use minimal preservatives in our formulations, just enough to give our products a shelf life.” – Kiehl’s

I saw a whole set at the airport for a very low price, so I couldn’t resist to finally try out some of Kiehl’s products! I haven’t gone through their myriad of products on their page, and I haven’t done any special research about the brand either. I will just go through the kit I got:

IMG_6312

  • Big size Ultra Facial Cream (125ml) – which they are quite known for. Being in Europe now, the air is colder and dryer. It’s very lightweight, but does the job moisturising my skin and it creates a great balance for me. It means that it’s not too moisturising so that I get oily.
  • Big size Ultra Facial Toner (250ml) – when I first poured it out, I was a little sceptical. Having had acne and too much oil on my face, it scared me to see a toner that is not completely liquidy. It is a white less-liquidy texture. But surprisingly, when applied to the face, it does feel fresh and nice on the skin.
  • Big size Ultra Facial Cleanser (150 ml) – I like my face cleansers to bubble up to make me feel nice and clean. This one does the job without stripping the skin of moisture completely. It is not very liquidy, so I have to mix it with a decent amount of water for it to start gliding on the face. A little goes a long way!
  • Sample size Midnight Recovery Concentrate – It hurt when I dropped it and lost half of the bottle when I first got it. I used the other half up though. It smells delicious and feels so so good on the skin. But to be honest, I haven’t really felt any different besides that.
  • Sample size Ultimate Strength Hand Salve – I really like the smell. But I feel like I have to use a huge blob just to cover my hands. I have used much cheaper hand creams doing a much better job. When I use this up, I will go back to my Nivea Hand SOS Intensive Balm. I have VERY dry hands, so I always need something proper! I also love Avené’s Cold Cream Hand Cream – a more expensive alternative, but good if you want a brand that has the dermatalogical focus.
  • Sample size Orange Flower & Lychee Liquid Body Cleanser – I never spend money on body washes. So this was nice to have and smells SO good. I’ll sure keep the bottle for travelling. But would not splurge on something like this.
  • Sample size Flower & Lychee Liquid Softening Body Lotion – again, I always just go for a good old (and cheap) Nivea or Vaseline. I don’t feel the need to splurge in this area.

I just want to point out that I paid 515kroners/96USD/69EUR/58GBP for ALL that. The facial cream alone is 43,5GBP – I’m just saying…. it was a good deal! I am very happy about this purchase as what I needed was just some simple, scent(and crap) free products. After the torture in Hong Kong, I don’t want anything fancy – just some standard products that treat my skin well. These are doing exactly that! But on the other hand, they do not give my any special feeling of luxury either.

Paula’s Choice

“No added dyes. 100% fragrance free. Our products are based on our unique combination of research, reviews, and results-driven product development.” – Paula’s Choice

I tried to purchase Paula’s Choice when I was in Hong Kong. I really did. Read my battle with them here. After coming back, and I have been thinking a lot about the 2014-03-18 21.30.04whole exfoliation/scrubbing/peeling/cleansing masks thing, I have decided that I really want to try out Paula’s Choice’s Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. My main problem is basically white heads at the nose area. With my acne I have had, I have been thrown out in the jungle of products and ingredients. It has been more than overwhelming. I just want my skin to be healthy and look healthy!!!

I did the research, and learned a lot from the Paula’s Choices advice-page.  More specifically about exfoliants, I read through this page and I learned so much in just 10 minutes. The thing is that it’s actually not good to use a scrub with beads, and peeling can also be too harsh on the skin. Paula puts it like this:

“Because AHA’s and BHA’s work through chemical processes, they can penetrate the skin and produce better results than cosmetic scrubs, which work only on the exposed surface of the skin.” – Paula 

Have a look of all their exfoliants here. But what about retinol, you would wonder, well, she describes it all here. The point is just that retinol is not an exfoliant like AHA and BHA.

Ciracle

“Ciracle is a skincare brand that cares about the skin from its past to present, and even further to the future. It is a vitamin focused product that effectively stabilizes the unstable nature of vitamin through the use of high technology.” – Ciracle

ciracle

I first tried out Ciracle when I was in Hong Kong. It is a Korean brand, and I think it is only sold in Asia. Anyhow, I started to use Ciracle when I was breaking out like
crazy, and I felt like this brand helped me a lot. I used their anti-blemish line; the aqua-cream, the tea tree oil cleanser, and the spot-x treatment.

Mario Bedescu

“Mario had a very unique perspective about skin care, appreciating both the chemical nature and complexities of the skin, as well as the desire and innate satisfaction and confidence that healthy, clean, radiant skin can give a person.” – Mario Badescu

???????????????????????????????  Camera 360

I know… putting alcohol on the face is a big no no. But sometimes, when you’re desperate, you’re desperate. I have been using their Drying Lotion (for the popping pimples) and Buffering Lotion (for cystic pimples). They both contain a lot of alcohol, but have kind of been working on me. These products are SOS products. So one should always find the roots of the problems and try to treat from there.

Other natural products

When I was reading through blog posts in my reader, I got introduced to Etsy. It’s a site where individuals or small companies can sell their stuff via this page. This includes natural products that people hand make. More specifically, I bought some stuff from EcoFriendlyLiving. I was very interested in how their dry shampoo would work, and then I also added the eye makeup remover in the cart as it’s all natural, and the prices are absolutely reasonable. Browse their products here. I just ordered the products, so I can’t say anything about them yet. But you can search for more natural products on Etsy. That’s definitely a good way of exploring more (natural) products.

Disclaimer

I am by no means any skin care expert. I am just sharing my experiences and impression I have of the brands and products. None of the products I have mentioned is sponsored. The opinion of the products is based on MY skin. Bare in mind that we all react differently on different products.

If you are dealing with problem skin or are just curious about the brands I have mentioned, I hope I have helped you towards your search for a solution or a certain product.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any good suggestions for acne/scarring after acne.

I will do a post on my current skin care routine soon.

Talk to you soon :D

Maria xoxo