All Used Up October 2016

All Used Up October 2016

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I had a few empties last month, but I’m still on skin care no-buy. XD First item used up was this Biotherm cream, Skin Best SPF 15. The texture and smell of this cream are pretty much like the other day creams by Biotherm, simply a normal face cream with fresh smell.

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Looking at the looong list of ingredients you can see what sets this cream apart from the others: there’s a high amount of niacinamide in it. This is a derivate of vitamin B3, which helps your skin cells repair themselves. Great, isn’t it? Except, right the next ingredient is alcohol. That’s a cell poison. Basically you’re destroying your skin at the same rate you’re healing it, amounting exactly zero effect. 😐 In my opinion alcohol is alright in creams if it is in the middle to lower end of the list, but that high up is a no-no. This is why I wouldn’t buy a full size of this product.

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Next item: Renu Lip and Eye Active Lift: This is the sort of wrinkle cream that creates a matrix on your surface, which tightens the skin and makes you look less wrinkly. This is a purely temporal effect, but some people like that. The cream had a weird, lactonic smell, but it wasn’t bad and I think it wasn’t additional perfume, just the way the ingredients smelled. Sadly, this came to me without a list of ingredients, so I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it.

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I always got out too much product, as you had to frmly press to get it out of the bottle, and then you had this big blob on your finger. I used the rest on my neck, as I didn’t like the feeling of it around my mouth. As an eye cream it was okay, but I don’t feel the need to have another bottle. In general, eye cream isn’t necessary at all, it’s just a marketing gag. You can as well just apply your normal face cream (since you’re not supposed to get the cream IN your eye either way). However from time to time I like having an extra cream for my eyes, so sometimes I have one and sometimes I don’t.

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Look by Bipa Nagellack Entferner Acetonfrei: frankly, the smell of this is godawful but it is cheap and removes nail polish very well so I already repurchased it.

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Ingredients of nail polish remover.

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And last item, Venus aqua 24 face cream: I used this both mornings and evenings as the last step in my skin care routine. It is a creamy texture, but on the lighter side. It felt very moisturizing, but thick enough to lock the moisture in and not let it evaporate. The first week or so I found it pretty good.

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After the first week I started noticing the smell more and more. It’s funny, sometimes I notice a scent in the beginning and grow used to it, in this case it went the other way round. The longer I used the cream the more it annoyed me. It is a really strong smell, a blend of several flowers I believe. I think they wanted to make it smell like a really expensive brand or so. It felt like I was slathering my face with perfume. This is why I wouldn’t repurchase this. I prefer my skin care with little to no scent, and for the smell to come from my actual perfume. However, this is a personal pet peeve and I think apart from that the cream was pretty good. Except one more thing – on the back it said this was a day cream but I see no SPF listed. Personally I expect at least SPF 15 in a day cream.

And that concludes my list of empties for this month. Next month there will be some more skin care because I’m really trying to use up all that stuff I’ve got lying about.

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All Used Up September 2016

All Used Up September 2016

I had quite a few empties last month. Let’s get to it:

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Douglas Beauty System Perfect Complexion Exfoliating Cream: This is a case of not used up. It’s a washing cream with plastic particles that makes your skin smooth. But the particles are pretty harsh and I’m trying to be gentle with my face. So I had this lying about for a long time, thinking maybe I’ll want to use it someday. I finally admitted it won’t get used up so it had to go.

Biotherm Skin-Best Serum-in-Cream: I remember testing the Serum-in-Oil from another Biotherm line and expecting it to be oily, but it turned out to be a gel texture. Well, this one here on the other hand, is totally oily. It’s not a thick cream texture, you only need a little dab for the whole face, but damn, when you spread it out it feels oily. It sinks in, so it doesn’t make you look  bad, but the feeling is unusual. Also I don’t think it did anything for my skin at all. I used it with the matching day cream, which I haven’t used up yet, so it’ll be in the next post, but the pair was pointless if you ask me. Stick with the Blue Therapy serum if you like Biotherm.

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Long and tiny list of ingredients for Serum-in-Cream.

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Another Biotherm item: Creme Solaire Dry Touch SPF 30: This product has been reformulated sometime after my purchase so I’ll spare you a long review. Would not have repurchased, too dusty dry.

MAC Prep&Prime CC Cream in Illuminate: The BBCC Hype may be over, but MAC created a solid product here. MAC, I have discovered, not only have great makeup, their skin care is also worth a look. This CC cream I consider a mix of both skin care and makeup. It has SPF 30 and is soothing on the skin, so after washing my face and adding a bit of moisture I go in straight with this one here, adding SPF and a smooth layer to apply my makeup on. It comes in several colors, I have the lavender one. It’s not the perfect color for me, as it doesn’t help with redness, but it makes such an elvish skin tone, lightening up the whole face. Also the other colors showed up too intense on my pale skin. I have repurchased the same color, Illuminate, but maybe one day I’ll check out the yellow color in hopes of it covering my redness…

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Balea Urea hand cream: good cream, but strong plasticky sweet smell. Will try to find one with lighter scent.

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Ingredients for hand cream.

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La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +: really good cream with Salicylic Acid and Capryloyl Salicylic Acid. Used this every evening underneath my cream. Have not repurchased yet as I’ve got some other stuff to use up, but might. It cleanes the pores because of the lipophile acids. Good for acne and rosacea.

Batiste Dry Shampoo Blonde: Not my first bottle and won’t stay the last bottle. Batiste gives me more volume than other dry shampoos I’ve tried. And dry shampoo in general gives me way more volume than hairspray (especially natural looking volume), which is why I go through bottle after bottle (and of course, you have to wash less often, too). Only downside to this Batiste one is that the smell is really strong. It’s vanilla which works when I wear vanilla-heavy perfume, but sometimes clashes badly with other perfume. However, I have since tried Batiste Classic and think it smells godawful, so I’ll be going back to Blonde next time.

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Ingredients of dry shampoo.

That’s it, my empties for last month. 🙂 I am currently on a no-buy for all skin care, as I’ve way too much of it. Only exception is hand cream, since I use so much of it (neurotic hand washer).

All Used Up July 2016

All Used Up July 2016

While I didn’t blog a lot in July, I did manage to use up quite a few products:

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Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Caplet Serum: As you can see, there are still capsules left in the bottom, but they were impossible to get out. The serum is colorless with white balls floating in it. When you pump them out, they combine into a shimmery white substance. There is a lot of mica in it and it is very visible in the face. Sadly, the mica has exactly the right size to settle in pores and enhance them.

From what I can tell, this serum is very moisturizing and enhances the effect of other products layered on top. So I used this and then put my BHA serum on top. I didn’t use this serum on its own. It didn’t have any adverse effects in my face, but I can’t say if it had any positive effects either. Due to the glitter I wouldn’t buy a full size. I prefer my shimmer to come in form of highlighters, where I can control where they go.

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List of ingredients. Click pic to enlarge.

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Next up: Douglas Beauty System Sea Thalasso Shower Gel. I used to have a matching body lotion, but ran out much sooner. Despite the hints of Sea Thalasso in the name, this does not smell salty or anything. It smells heavenly of neroli. I love it, real good scent. I don’t even know if this is still being sold though. It often takes me so long to use things up because I switch around.

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List of ingredients.

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Biotherm Aquasource Cream: I’m pretty sure I had this before. It’s just a rich cream wth the nice fresh smell that Biotherm often uses. I don’t have the packaging with the ingredients anymore, sorry. The cream is nice, but nothing special.

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La Roche Posay Anthelios AC SPF 30: a mattifying sun protection for the face. Alcohol is fairly high in the list, so I would not buy a full size for myself. When I use alcohol on my skin and then go into the sun I get big angry red spots. The cream proteced well from sun rays, though. At least I didn’t get sunburn. The cream left a visible white cast on me.

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Douglas Naturals face cream day with argan oil: You can tell it’s a “natural” cream by the smell: typical essential oils smell. Nasty if you ask me. The cream was bad, it simply didn’t want to sink in or distribute evenly. I think I also broke out from it (it’s hard to say exactly, but I had been acne free for a long time until that point). Avoid, avoid!

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The Body Shop Honeymania lip balm: This is a huge pot of lip balm and I gotta admit, it went bad before I could use it up, so it had to go. Back when it was still good, it had a lovely smell of fake honey and a waxy texture that protected lips nicely.

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Lush Helping Hands: a hand cream with light texture that sunk it quickly – no waiting time until you can use your smart phone again. 🙂 For my dry hands it works in summer, but in winter I need something richer. I didn’t love the smell, but it wasn’t bad either.

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Two perfume samples: Simply Jil Sander – a favorite of mine, review here.

And Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum: Sadly there are many Lempickas with similar names. I think this is the usual one, with the light purple bottle. I like it quite a bit. It smelled of cherry candy and liquorice. It smelled a bit dusty and light at the same time, like a young girl wearing an old dress. Quirky. Sadly, as far as I can tell, Lempicka aren’t sold in stores in Austria anymore and online retailers only have a few leftovers of this particular perfume.

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Lee Stafford Poker Straight for Oily Roots Dry Shampoo: This is the white variant (I had to give away my brown colored one after I went blond, haha). I like this, it works well. The smell could be a bit less intense for me (since I prefer smelling of my chosen perfume and not of my hair products) but the scent itself is okay. I have already repurchased this.

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Louis Widmer 50+ Extra Sun Fluid: This is one of my favorite sun products. The protection factor is high, there is no alcohol in the formula and no perfume. It leaves a slight white cast on the skin, but not very bad. The texture is not mattifying, it left me with a glow. But personally, I like that. Mattifying products often make  my skin too dry. The texture is very runny. Biggest downside: only 100 ml of product and not very cheap. Haven’t repurchased so far, but I might because it’s really good. I also tried the SPF 30, but that one had alcohol in it and my skin reacted badly.

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List of ingredients.

And, that’s it. Quite a list for one month. 🙂

All Used Up December 2015

All Used Up December 2015

In December I made my way through my stash and I’m glad to say I produced a couple of empties along the way. Let’s get into it:

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Douglas XSmall Purifying Cleansing Water: I haven’t yet found a mini of my beloved Garnier micellar water, so for travels I tend to buy this one here. It’s almost as good. Already repurchased.

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And here’s the big one: I also emptied a bottle of Garnier micellar water. Already repurchased.

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OPI nail polish remover: this is the green one with acetone. It removes polish quickly and fuss-free and has a good scent. It’s not exactly cheap, though. Might repurchase, but not for now.

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Balea Q10 handcream: This is still a staple of mine, although I still wish it offered a higher SPF than 10.

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Balea belebende Augenpflege: nice moisturizing eye cream. Cheap and perfume free. Might repurchase.

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Rexona Maximum Protection: This is a strong deodorant cream (with aluminium salts, of course). This is so strong I used it only once a week (and normal deo on the other days). Once I accidentally used it twice in a row, and I really noticed it – I was suddenly sweating more on my back and feet, haha. That’s because if the sweat can’t get out in the arm pits, it’ll find other ways to get out. Because what has to get out, has to get out. 😉 (And this is why you don’t have to worry about any sort of clogging or whatever when using deodorant.) Uhm, so, I liked this lots. Less sweat means less stink and it works for a good while, which is why I didn’t have to use it every day. Haven’t repurchased yet, but am planning to.

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Lush Lemony Flutter: This is a good strong cream for hands and nails. I am a huge hand cream junkie, because my skin there is always dry and damages easily. Lemony Flutter is rich and feels great and helped me lots. It needs a while to sink in though. The smell is delicious at first, however after a while the smell changed. I am not sure if the product went bad there at the end. It’s possible, since Lush stuff is fresh made? If you don’t use the tons of hand cream that I do, this might be a problem. Since I didn’t have much left I simply used it up and noticed no bad effects. This is very, very good to my nails and hands and I am planning to get another one.

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A small sample of Marbert 24h Aqua booster: regular moisturizing face cream. Feels good and has a scent that is not too strong. But I don’t feel the need to own a tube.

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And the last one isn’t so much an empty as an “I give up”: Biotherm Homme Total Perfection: I hoped this would lead to clear skin, but all it ever did was give me dry spots. The “male” perfume is also annoying. Are men afraid of buying unscented cream or what? So I chucked it out because it wasn’t worth the dry skin it gave me.

And this concludes the last empties I had in 2015. 🙂

All Used Up MAy 2015

All Used Up MAy 2015

Another month over, and time for another round of empties:

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I used up my sample of Jil Sander Simply. I already reviewed it here.  I liked it, but I don’t feel the need for a big bottle atm.

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The Body Shop Honeymania Shower Gel: Lovely smell, a bit like honey and a lot like wild flowers. A little bit of clover, maybe. I am on a total shower gel buying ban, because I have way too many bottles standing around, but generally I would repurchase this. I’m not sure if the scent is stll around, though.

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Douglas nails hands feet everyday’s darling moisturizing hand balm: a good hand cream, but ultimately nothing special. Flowery scent that isn’t too overpowering.

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MAC Mineralize Foundation Compact: by now there are several Mineralize Foundations available. I fell for the compact version (it’s creamy, not dry) and used it so much that it’s already empty. 😦

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The sad rest. The compact comes with a sponge. That sponge is still untouched, because I only applied this with a brush. The coverage can be adjusted depending on which brush is used. For a natural, medium coverage I used MAC 130, for a stronger coverage the Shiseido foundation brush or my newest brush, the Zoeva Silk Finish.

On the one hand I am sad it lasted only about a year, on the other hand it’s a good idea to use it up fast, because such a cream is more exposed than a bottle and could get bad faster. The cream contains a bit of alcohol, enbough that I could smell it at first. It seemed to evaporate over time. It’s not that I got used to it, because the same week I used this one up, I opened the next one and that one had the alcohol smell again. So if you’re sensitive to alcohol, this is not the foundation for you, but like I said, it evaporates, so I’m not too concerned about it.

Already repuchased, this is the foundation that works best for me. Long lasting, good coverage, does not emphasize dry parts. It’s not mattifying; f you’re looking for something for oily skin, check out the liquid versions.

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Ebelin nail polish remover pads acetone free: these were merely okay. I liked the older ones better, but they changed the formula.

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Lis of ingredients. For now no repurchase.

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Marionnaud Cleansing Micellar Water: I bought this travel size back when I was looking for a cheaper version of the Lancome Micellar Cleanser. I have since found it in the Garnier one. It took me forever to use up this Marionnaud one, because I found it awful. It has a nasty alcoholic smell, it feels nasty and drying on skin and it removed makeup only so-so. I kept it for emergencies and as you can see, there were enough of them to make it finally empty. Would not buy again.

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Last one for this month: Biotherm Lait de Douche. It’s the shower milk with that lovely soft citrus smell of theirs. That smell must be popular not only with me, since they have released a matching perfume spray this year. Apart from the smell, the milk also feels lovely on the skin.

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Back view with list of ingredients. Click the pic to enlarge. It contains salicylic acid, which explains the smooth feeling afterwards? Maybe? Or maybe the dose is too small and it’s only anti-inflammatory, which is also great.

Like I said I’m on a shower gel no buy, but I wouldn’t say no to getting this one as a gift. 😉

These were my empties of the last month, quite good, eh? Empties always make me feel so accomplished! 😀

 

All Used Up December 2014

All Used Up December 2014

I didn’t expect to have many empties at the end of the year, but there were a few. Here are my last products used up in 2014:

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Annemarie Börlind Naturoyale Lifting Serum: This luxury sample came in a beauty box. When I checked for the price of a full size, I did a double-take: for a few bucks more you can get a Lancome serum. The second ingredient of this serum is alcohol, and you really notice it. It has a strong smell of alcohol, and after using it for weeks, my pores were not happy. At first it seemed like they got small and ungunky, but the long term showed the opposite. That’s not the worst thing that happened to me, though. The worst thing was I was allergic to this natural serum and I didn’t notice until after I’d used it up! Suddenly my angry red skin and tearing eyes were healed almost over night! *headdesks* I spent a whole month suspecting food or scented candles! This is further proof that natural cosmetics are a health hazard for me and ‘natural’ clearly doesn’t equal ‘gentle’ or ‘good’. For everyone who is not allergic I still can’t recommed it because of the high amount of alcohol in it combined with the hefty price tag.

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Let’s go on to greener pastures: Garnier Micellar Cleanser was my discovery of the year. This was the second bottle I used up and I stick with what I said before: this is even slightly better than expensive Micellar Cleansers. It gets my makeup off just fine, even the majority of eyeliners. Some need a dual phase remover.

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Declare Ocean’s Best Marine Moisture for sensitive skin: This is a soothing moisturizer on the richer side, perfect for winter or when you need to heal allergy damage on your skin.

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Biotherm Lait Corporel: This is already the second small Biotherm body lotion I used up. It makes skin all smooth with a delightful smell of  citrus peel. The citrus peel smell is more on the gentle side, not super zesty. I would buy a full size, but I’ve got way too much body lotion atm. XD

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And my last item: Lancome O de L’Orangerie EdT. This is a flanker to the classic O de Lancome, released in 2011 (the flanker, that is). It goes nicely with the body lotion above because it also smells of citrus peel, albeit a lot stronger and zestier. Some people call it a summer scent, but for me citrus peel signifies winter, which is when I eat the most citrus fruit. I also don’t find it very green or all that refreshing. So it’s not very surprising I used it up in december, even though I did use a good amount of it in august just to try.

 

In conclusion  the items used up most often over the year: makeup remover, hand cream and small perfume samples. In makeup: mascara and foundation. None of these are surprising and I suspect the trend will continue in 2015. While I can live with my makeup remover coming in 400 ml bottles, I do wish they were 500 ml and I seriously wish that good hand creams came in bigger tubes.

All Used Up October 2014

All Used Up October 2014

I can’t believe another month has gone by! I’ve just been typing up the last empties post…

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Dolce & Gabbana the one Desire: this is a flanker to their perfume “the one”. Desire is a rich gourmand (a perfume smelling like dessert). I have a hate/love relationship with gourmands: I don’t like them, but then sometimes I really want to wear one. I always need at least one in my perfume wardrobe (luckily since they are on trend there are enough samples to choose from). And you could certainly do a lot worse than Desire. To me, Desire smells like cashmere sweaters and a rich dessert. Warm and cozy. I’m not getting sexy or skanky from it, but the skank might be in the dosage. For me, one spritz of this was enough for the whole day. It lasts very well on skin.

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Biotherm Biomains: hand cream. It’s nice and rich, sadly no SPF. Has a sort of flowery scent.

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List of ingredients.

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dermalogica overnight clearing gel: This is similar to LRP effaclar duo, but just gentle enough for me to use all over my face. I still got about a week’s worth of use out of it, and I think it’s pretty good. My skin certainly looked a lot better after that week. I wouldn’t buy a full size mostly because it smells strongly of rosemary and thyme and while that’s at least a nice reprieve from floral smells I felt a bit like I was preparing myself for Hannibal Lecter, yaknow?

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Balea Arztseife: my favorite soap; gentle and scent-free.

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Rexona deo stick: I’ve yet to see an unbiased scientific study about aluminium in cosmetics proving it’s actually harmful. Until then, I’ll keep using Rexona because it works.

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Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme and Creme: First I thought gel creme would be for oilier skin and creme for dry skin. Then I saw in the description they’re both meant for dry skin, but in different seasons. So I thought october was the perfect testing month. Using gel creme first I was surprised it was called “gel” at all. It seems like a regular cream to me. Using creme afterwards I saw that it was richer than gel creme. I think creme has the better texture to use. Apart from that I think they are pretty much identical. They both have this typical Chanel skin care scent (or it might be just the hydra line. I havent tried any other line yet, but I had the serum before and it had the same smell). And apart from that scent, honestly, I got nothing. You can find much better skin creams at much cheaper price points. The only selling point is the smell. And I personally prefer scentless skin care. If I want to smell of Chanel, I’ll buy one of their many perfumes!

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And this picture leads us over to our last items for this month:

Valentina and Valentina Assoluto by Valentino: Valentina is a thin flowery perfume. It does not have a high lasting power. When wearing only my usual two spritzes on skin I could not detect anything after 20 minutes. So for the rest of testing I put it on my clothes instead and that was when I started to smell the base. It smells like three days unwashed and trying to mask it with flowery perfume. Yuck. And I made sure this wasn’t me or my clothes.

Assoluto has a darker opening than Valentina, but after that they are pretty much the same, including the sweaty note. I don’t think me and the Valentinas are going to be friends. Dear coworkers, if you read this I swear I was showering! The things you do for your blog…

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If it seems like I am using a lot more perfume than before I’m not. It’s just that before 2014 I didn’t include it in the posts because my whole vocabulary for it was “I like” and “I do not like”. 🙂

Alphabet Cream Central

Alphabet Cream Central

I was going to call this the BB & CC post, but then I saw that some companies are as far as EE by now, so umbrella term. In this post I will explain about BB and CC creams and list all reviews I’ve done on this blog.

In the last few years, double letter creams have popped up all over the place, every brand has one or more of them. So what are they?

A marketing gag, of course. All those creams might have been sold as foundations, tinted moisturizers or primers respectively, but the term BB Cream proved to sell, so that is what we got.

 

What are BB Creams?

The term ‘BB’ usually stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm. They have been around in Asia for a while, and then someone discovered it for the western market. The very first Blemish Balm ever seems to have come from German brand Christine Schrammek, though. Lisa Eldridge tells us about the origin of BB Creams in this video.

In general, BB Creams include some sort of coverage, so they come in flesh tones (sometimes they are colorless in the tube and gain color upon application, for example the one from the Body Shop). They are also suposed to have skin care ingredients, making them the new generation of tinted moisturizers. They also usually contain SPF, but that ranges from very high to very low. Some don’t list SPF, but at least with all the creams I looked at they still contained some sort of sun protection ingredients. Creams created for the Asian market often also claim to have whitening properties.

Even with these three things in common, one BB Cream can be very different from the next. At the moment, some brands offer more than one BB Cream (Dior, Guerlain etc).

BB Creams I have reviewed on this blog:

Aok Blemish Balm

Biotherm Aqua Source BB Cream

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

Diorskin Nude BB Creme

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB

La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Cream

 

What are CC Creams?

Since BB Creams proved to be a seller, companies were on the lookout for the next big hit, and this sort of seemed like the logical consequence. The CC usually stands for Color Correction or Complexion Correction. I think the name operates on the assumption that Blemish Balm is for skin with pimples, and skin with age spots and such needs its own cream. Sometimes the marketing or SA will try to tell you that BB is for young and CC for mature skin, but frankly that is a gross overgeneralisation, also because I’m sure BB Creams weren’t really created with this in mind. (Compare Clinique‘s Age Defense BB Cream. And also, my approach for skin care is that anti-aging skin care is the best for skin with acne.)

The color correction is approached from two sides: one, the skin care side, which (hopefully) includes ingredients to help with pigmentation and discoloration from scars. Two, the cream itself is tinted to optically help with discolorations. And here we have two versions, lets call them Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 comes flesh-toned, just like BB Creams. That, like most BB Creams, makes them a form of tinted moisturizer or even foundation. Examples for Type 1 are Chanel‘s CC Cream, or the creams by Dr Brandt. Type 2, on the other hand, comes in pastel colors to color correct the skin before you put makeup on top. That means they are primers. Examples for this type are the CC Creams from YSL or MAC. Both have CC Creams in several different shades (lavender, peach etc), to combat different discolorations.

What do CC Creams have in common with each other? Pretty much only the tinted aspect (and even that is sometimes very slight, see Diadermine). They should all include skin care ingredients that help even out the complexion over time, but some contain more and some a whole lot less. SPF is also not a common denominator. Some have a high SPF, and some have none at all. I think they all should have some, because if you boast that you’re helping with pigmentation you should protect the skin from further UV damage. That’s just my personal opinion, though. So, really, CC Creams are all over the place, even more so than BB Creams.

CC Creams I have reviewed on this blog:

By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum

Diadermine Lift+ CC

Dr Brandt CC Mat

 

Serum Masterpost

Serum Masterpost

What is a serum?

Unlike regular skin creams, which mostly act as a barrier and to moisturize, serums have a higher amount of active ingredients. They are the powerhorses of skincare.

How do you use serums?

Well, this depends on personal preference, of course. Usually serums are meant to be used underneath skin care, probably so that the company can sell you two products instead of one. 😉 Personally I do not add anything on top of the serum unless my skin still feels tight. When I use a serum I will use it every night; on mornings it depends on what else I plan to slap on (I try to use as few layers as possible).

Serums are my favorite part of skin care, because they make a visible difference, but I don’t have to work for it. I don’t have to put on a mask and wash it off again or anything similar. I simply smear the serum on after washing my face, done. 😀 When I don’t have eyecream on hand, I use the serum around my eyes as well, works perfectly. (The concept of eye cream is pretty much a marketing gag anyway, if you ask me.)

Serums I have reviewed on this blog, in alphabetical order:

The links mostly go to my all used up posts, so you may have to scroll a little, sorry for that.

Annemarie Börlind

Naturoyale Lifting Serum

Biotherm

Aquasource Deep Serum

Blue Therapy Serum

Blue Therapy Serum in Oil Night

By Terry

CC Lumi Brightening Serum

Clinique

Repairware Laser Focus

Kiehl’s

 Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate

Lancome

Advanced Genifique

Dreamtone

Visionnaire Serum

Marbert

24 h Aqua Booster Intensive Moisture Serum

All Used Up May 2014

All Used Up May 2014

I had no empties in April, but a couple of almost empties, so there are a few for May:

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Lacoste Pour Femme shower gel: This was a repurchase because I like the scent. Would buy again, but I have several others to use up first.

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BeYu Curling Star Mascara: As the name says, this is all about the curl. I don’t usually have much problems keeping my curl, unless I wear a volumising mascara that wears the lashes down. This mascara is very lightweight, so for me the curl stayed. No volumizing, no lengthening, just plain black mascara. Did not smudge on me, but crumbled quite a bit.

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Biotherm Eau Fraiche: Okay, this isn’t so much used up as sniffed once, but since I decided to add in perfume reviews I’ll talk about it. It includes notes of pear, coriander seeds and jasmine absolute. To me it mostly smells of cucumber, and an hour or two later the jasmine comes out. The jasmine lasted all day. If you like fresh and uncomplicated and jasmine, it’s worth a sniff.

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Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Riche: It says dry to very dry skin, I’d say very dry skin only. This is very rich. Also soothing.

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alverde brow gel transparent: really good and very cheap. Only downside: the brush is so big. I would prefer it to be smaller.

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Kenzo Flower in the Air: Eau de Parfum. Yes I’m the sort of person who actually uses those little samples. I like switching my perfume every week. Anyway, so this is, as the name suggests, a flowery one. But it’s not like those sickly sweet gourmand perfumes! It is a strong flowery scent, but also somehow fresh. I enjoyed it greatly.

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And last, but not least: Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Blacks Mascara

This gives length and volume in only one coat. It’s certainly a va-va-voom mascara. This was only a 2 ml sample (the full size I think has the gold and black reversed) but it lasted pretty long. Longer than the 5 ml mascara I showed up there. Three coats of this could rival falsies. It did not crumble on me, but.

Here’s the thing. Two hours after application:

Captain-America-2-Sebastian-Stan-Winter-Soldier (Picture courtesy of Marvel)

It smudges! It smudges so hard! And I don’t usually have much of a smudging problem. Would never buy a full size considering the price.

And these were my empties for the last month. Thank you for reading.

All Used Up February

All Used Up February

February is a short month and so is my list of empties:

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The Body Shop Hemp Intensive Hand Butter: The Absinth Butter was not strong enough for winter, so I switched to the strongest butter they offer. The hemp butter has a strong scent. I could live with it, but I would not suggest buying this without smelling first. It takes a while to sink into the skin; but I am not sure if it sinks in at all or forms a film. When I applied this and then washed some fruit hours later, I always had the feeling the cream rubbed off onto the fruit.

 

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Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum-in-oil Night: This comes out as a clear, yellow/orange gel. The smell is more fruity and less cucumber (like other Biotherm products). It is supposed to provide overnight recovery to your skin. I think they want you to buy both this and the regular Blue Therapy serum and use that in the morning and this one at evenings. So  I used this every night and a different cream in the morning (the Blue Therapy cream, even, until I ran out). I think it does okay with dry skin, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea with skin that is prone to clogging. Of course, the clogged pores at my chin might have been from something else.

Overall I’d say skip this and use the regular Blue Therapy serum twice a day instead. If you look for something to plump up your skin overnight, the Biotherm Aquasource nuit cream is your friend.

 

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Catrice Infinite Matt Make Up: This was a surprise use-up. From the outside it looks as if there was still a bit left, but when I unscrewed the pump, I found that no, there’s barely anything. It’s only residue here at the side. D: This particular foundation has been discontinued. Catrice have another matt one now, but the colors are different and the formulation too. I liked the old one, it worked well with primer and powder. But I’m not willing to take my chances with the new one, so I am in the market for a new foundation. (Not easy, because few ranges are pale enough for me and Bobbi Brown, who does offer my perfect color match, is out of the run because the foundations contain lavender oil! I think Maybelline Fit me might make the run, as they also have a good color match for me.)

 

And these were my only empties for the last month. See you! 🙂

All used up January

All used up January

Here are my first empties of the year 2014:

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ebelin nail polish remover pads: I liked these and already bought them again, sadly the new ones (in black packaging) are NOT identical to these. While I could highly recommend the one pictured here, the new ones are not good. 😦

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Biotherm Blue Therapy Cream SPF 15: I might have mentioned this on the blog before. It’s a good skin cream, I like the cucumber smell, but it’s not like the serum. I recommend the serum, but the normal cream is just a cream at the end of the day.

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Korres Mandarin Lip Butter SPF 15 in Pink: Originally everything white here was covered with black writing but it wore off. This gives a soft hint of color on the lips. I wouldn’t buy it again. I got the feeling that I’d apply it, and then my lips were dry again so I put on more and so forth. However, my lips are very dry, it might just be me.

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anatomicals you need a blooming shower your nose smells rose body cleanser: anatomicals is all about the snappy names. If you like rose scent, this is your shower gel.

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Kamill Reinigungslotion/Cleansing Lotion: this is a 2 in 1 product, both cleansing milk and toner. It took me forever to use up! I’m very torn about it. First off, the smell is awful! Really terrible! And it didn’t wear off either I’d still smell it when I was in bed an hour later. So I thought, well they can’t help it, it’s probably without perfume and just what the stuff smells like. But NO! There is perfume in it, and it’s not the last ingredient either! Someone sat down, cooked up this smell and thought it was okay to put in skin care!!! Apart from the smell, it is also hard to use because it is very runny. I got it all over the bottle and the sink.

On the other hand, this is a cleanser with lactic acid and it is really good on pores. It gets all the gunk off. It can be used to remove makeup (face only) but I needed to go over my face several times and then it was too drying. So it is better to use it on make up less skin.

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s-he stylezone powder duo

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This is a case of almost used up. I wanted to show you the colors as long as I still could. s-he is a cheap brand that gets sold at dm here. If you’ve seen anything by s-he lately, you will know that their packaging is square and has been for years. That’s how old this powder is! They used to have these duos of eye shadows and also of face powders. I think it is pretty useful to have an all over powder plus a bronzer together. The downside of this one was that the powder was loose and the packaging didn’t close tight enough, so if was impossible to take anywhere.

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Finger swatches. The darker color makes a great bronzer for a pale skinned person (I bought the lightest duo of course, there were darker ones as well).

The powder is nowhere near as finely milled as expensive powders. It helped a lot to control my nose shininess, though.

 

These were my first empties of the new year. I don’t know if anyone even reads these posts but they help me track what I use. 🙂

Biotherm Aquasource BB-Cream

Biotherm Aquasource BB-Cream

I have been testing a sample of the Biotherm Aquasource BB-Cream in fair – medium.

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As you know, there is no fixed definition of what a BB Cream is, so products vary wildly. I like that there are samples of the biotherm cream available. It’s always such a hassle buying face products when you can’t test them properly.

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Out of the tube, the color fair – medium looks too dark for me (of course my face isn’t quite as white as the inside of my arm).

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Spread out it isn’t too dark anymore. The reason, as I could tell on my blemished face, is because this cream offers no coverage whatsoever. None. Nada. Nix. It gives a very light tint of color and that’s it. However, it feels very lovely on the face, even better than the regular Aquasource face cream.

So what I did was apply foundation on top. And I found out that worn like this, the Aquasource BB Cream is pretty good at oil control. My nose didn’t get as shiny as it gets with my usual primer (MAC prep & prime). In fact, it held my make up very well together. (please note I tested this in january, so not under extreme heat conditions)

My verdict: if you’re looking for a product with coverage, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a primer with moisturizing properties and some shine control, the Aquasource BB Cream is worth checking out.

All used up in December

All used up in December

A little late, but these are the last few products I used up in the year 2013:

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Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Lotion: This comes with a citrus scent. I’m not usually big on citrus but this one is delectable. Yum. It’s also very moisturizing and I am glad I already have a replacement.

 

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MAC Dazzle Lash Mascara: Right after the Clinique one, I ran out of this mascara. I can’t even remember when I purchased it; I don’t think it’s still available? Anyway, I have a funny story of me buying this. I went to MAC and said: “I’m looking for a mascara that doesn’t give volume nor length.” You should have seen their faces!

See, I wanted a mascara for every day work and I didn’t want super va-va-voom lashes. My main problem is that my lashes are blond and as such not visible. I want them black (or at least darker) and that’s it. I’m probably the sort of person that gets used for testing mascara, so the company can boast their result of 50000% more lashes!!!! Because if you compare my before and after, it doesn’t matter if the mascara is any good, from blond to black is always from zero lashes to WOW! Whoops, my thoughts sort of ran away on me. So this product, it coats my lashes black and doesn’t do much else (it was possible to build volume with several coats, though). I liked that, it was my go to work mascara. Crumpling and smudging were minimal.

 

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Balance Me super toning body wash: A shower gel with mostly natural ingredients and a strong smell of essential oils. It’s okay.

 

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Alpienne Propolis Lotion: I know I already sang hymns of the Biotherm lotion up there, but this one blows all of my fav lotions out of the water. It’s a natural product, and consists mostly of bee products; propolis and honey. The smell is godly, not too strong fake honey (unlike for example body shop). It is very moisturizing and was good to my patches that are always dry and angry.It also soaked in pretty fast, not leaving me sticky.

I loved it so much I used it up in the same month I got it from Glossybox. And when I tried to get a full size I found that you can only have it shipped from Alpienne’s website and that the full size costs 50 € plus shipping. 😦 They have a set with this and the matching shampoo and I am highly tempted. I like that their things have few ingredients and no petroleum oil, silicon and such. Top notch, sadly expensive and probably impossible to get in the rest of the world. Sob.

 

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Vichy Liftactiv: a face cream for dry to very dry skin. Perfect for winter, so I used it in december, waiting for winter. We never got winter, but the cream is pretty good. Highly moisturizing; probably too rich for oily skin. I didn’t see any difference in wrinkles, though. I don’t think it has SPF.

Favorites of 2013

Favorites of 2013

The year has almost come to an end.Time to look back!

I made a list of the beauty things I enjoyed most this year; then I removed everything that I did not get in 2013, else it would have been an all time-favorites list instead of a 2013 list. While not everything on the list came out in 2013, I still think it makes a good representative.

Makeup

Base: Diorskin Nude BB Creme

Blush: Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel, Lancome Blush in Love

Eyes: Benefit They’re real, YSL Palette in Classy, Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner (1 2 3), Chanel Stylo Eyeshadows

Lips: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Chic, Pygmalion; Lancome Baume in Love in A la folie, cherry, YSL Rouge Pour Couture in Rose Lyrique, Maybelline 14h stay lipsticks

Skin Care

Hands/Body: Balea Hand Creams, Diadermine Body Oil

Face: Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum, Lancome Visionnaire Serum, Lancome Eau Micellaire Doceur

Hair

Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo, BC Boncacure Oil Miracle Volume Amplifier

Nails

OPI Alcatraz… Rocks, What Wizardry is this?, Essie For The Twill Of It, Penny Talk, YSL Jade Imperial, Guerlain Ultraviolet Top Coat

Perfume

Prada Candy L’Eau, Marc Jacobs Honey

What I got for Christmas

What I got for Christmas

Hello!

I am finally back. I really did not expect to fall off the blogosphere so completely, wow. I missed both Christmas and my blog birthday. I hope you had lots of fun and got lovely presents.

I got one beauty related present:

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A Phytomineral Body Lotion (500 ml), Hand lotion (150 ml) and serum (120 ml) by Judith Williams. My mum loves Judith Williams stuff and boy, I am always glad to receive skin care, especially hand creams.

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This was the dessert I had on Christmas Eve. Very yummy.

Since I also dropped the Advent Calendar posts, in short: it mostly contained more things by Lancome and Biotherm, including a 10 ml sample of Biotherm’s Blue Therapy serum in oil and on the last door a full sized Biotherm hand lotion (YAY!). There was also a small eye liner by Lancome. I was very pleased with this year’s calendar by Marionnaud, it was much better than last year’s. I already can’t wait for next year, haha.

 

In an upcoming post I would like to talk about my tops and flops of 2013, but I’m having a hard time choosing products for tops (there were not many flops. Maybe I’ll leave those out and make a “what did not work for me” post later on).

I love you, thank you for reading my posts in the past year!