All Used Up August, September and October 2017

All Used Up August, September and October 2017

Wow, it’s been a while! Usually I try to get one of these posts up once a month or every other month, but whatever. It’s going to be a bit longer, then. Here’s the stuff I emptied in the last three months:

Benefit They’re Real mascara: this mini was part of a set and of course the mascara went way before the other products. At first I really liked the mascara and thought I’d buy a full size aferwards. I mean I still ike it but I have found other mascaras that work just as well so for now I won’t repurchase it. It gave my lashes length and volume and didn’t smear.

Chanel Le Volume Rouge Noir: You will notice a trend here. Some people really hate these mascara wands made of plastic (or whatever it is) with short bristles and I really, really love them. I absolutely adored the Rouge Noir color, which sadly was a LE. The Le Volume doesn’t give length, but it does add a lot of volume. This has the effect that lashes droop a bit and won’t keep the curl. My lashes are naturally curly so it works out for me despite the weight. When the Le Volume is new it is very wet and will be a pain to use. I have found the key is to open it once and then put it in the drawer and forget about it. Several months later it will have the perfect consistency. And no, the mascara won’t go bad in the meantime (just don’t leave it lying about for years). Le Volume does not smear on me (once it had some time to dry) or crumble.

Two small masks: Balea Reparierende Maske and Balea Reinigende Maske. These are supposed to be one time masks, but there was so much product in them that I used each for four or five days. Or rather, nights, as these are leave-on masks. Hence the sleepy face. I liked both, they were refreshing (both have a gel texture) and they plumped up my skin quite a bit. The next day there were visibly less fine lines. I don’t think they did anything else though. The blue cleansing mask didn’t result in less gunk in my pores or anything. Still, I liked them. I’m not sure if they were LE, though as I haven’t seen them in stores anymore?

Ingredients for the green repairing mask.

Ingredients for the blue cleansing mask.

Nivea two phase eye makeup remover: It was okay. I had removers that got the makeup off faster than this one, but on the plus side it did not feel that oily and left not much residue on my eye. Might repurchase if I find nothing better.

La Roche Posay Toleriane cleansing milk: my go-to cleanser for makeup free skin. It does claim to be able to remove makup, but don’t fall for it! It’s terrible at removing makeup! It is okay for a normal gentle cleanse, though. I take a blob of this (it has sort of a weird texture) and rub it all over my face. Then I take it off again with a wet cotton pad. It could be taken off with a dry pad but that leaves on too much product for my taste. This cleanser will leave residue, though, even when removing it with water. This is supposed to happen! The cleansing milk leaves a film of moisturisation on the skin while removing the gunk and dirt. Thus, I can skip the regular moisturizer and go straight for sun protection.

Batiste Cherry dry shampoo: am still on my mission to try allll the dry shampoo scents. I like this one here a lot, it smells a bit like Guerlain LPRN… So far Batiste is the brand that gives my hair the most fluffing up, which is my main reason to use dry shampoo (my hair is very limp). Repurchase of this one is highly likely.

From left to right: Lush Lemony Flutter, Colab dry shampoo tropical and a sample of Cavalli perfume.

I don’t like the smell of Lemony Flutter at all, but I love what it does to my skin so I buy it from time to time despite the scent. But the scent is really something. I use Lemony Flutter on my hands, cuticles, feet and sometimes elbows. I put it wherever I need heavy duty cream. It leaves my hands a bit oily for a few minutes, but I think that’s worth it. I do wish they offered a different scent. For now, no repurchase.

Colab tropical has a faint coconutty scent. It smells good, but nowhere near as strong or good as ‘paradise’ from the same brand. It truly does not leave white residue, but it also gives me less fluff than Batiste. And it left my hair feeling a bit sticky. Sorry, Colab I love your scents, but I’ll rather deal with white residue than sticky hair. No repurchase.

Roberto Cavalli by Roberto Cavalli is a massive powdery orange blossom scent. I like it enough to use up the samples (this isn’t my first) but not enough to go for a bottle.

Piz Buin Allergy Lotion: Haha, can you see where the writing wore off? It didn’t survive the combination of heat and sticky hands. Okay I love the formula. It smells good, it protects really well and it does not give me angry, dry red spots on my skin (this happens a lot to me when using the wrong sun care). Thus I bought two more bottles long before I ran out of this one. Only after that I realized how terrible the packaging is! Once you used up the first half the product refuses to come out of the bottle. The opening is tiny, the lotion very thick and the bottle very sturdy and hard to squeeze. I hate it! So I will use up the bottles I stupidly already bought, but after that I’ll only consider this again if they change the packaging!

List of ingredients for Piz Buin.

This is almost the whole list as right now I realize I forgot to photograph a shower gel I used up. I’l put it in the next post. This brings us to the end of my empties for now. See you on the next one!

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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 April 2016

All Used Up April 2016

Ah, sorry for the little hiatus there. My schedule keeps being upset and I can’t create when I don’t have a few hours of spare time in one go. 😦 Anyway, here is what I used up the last month, quite a few items:

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Batiste Dry Shampoo light&blonde: this dry shampoo is colored. It comes out a muddy yellow. it totally works for my hair, but I’m not sure if it would work for a platinum blonde. You might end up with yellow patches! It does leave the scalp yellow, which is a bit annoying. The scent is vanilla, which is okay, but I’d highly prefer for hair products in general to be a lot less scented. They often compete with my perfume. But in general this is a good dry shampoo. It also creates volume, something I despereately need. The finish is duller than other dry shampoos might leave you, but I don’t care. Already repurchased.

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Ingredients for Batiste Dry Shampoo.

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Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel: This is a case of not used up. I finally admitted to myself that foaming cleansers are really irritating for my skin. This particular product has a really nice smell, just like the matching cream, which I used up and reviewed before. But ultimately it’s not worth it. If you are the sort of person to use foaming cleaners you can find similar ones for less money.

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This is my second empty MAC Mineralize Compact Foundation. It works really well for me. I have not repurchased yet, but I might. I just wish they offered a lighter color than NC15. I think I am really NC13 now.

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Another handcream. I may be on a mission to try all the Balea ones… This is the Totes Meer handcream (dead sea salt). The texture is light and absorbs easily. The scent is light and unoffensive, a bit salty. Despite the light texture, it really helped keeping my skin moisturized. I have now purchased other hand creams that need to be used up, but I would totally repurchase this one. I just wish it came with SPF!

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Ingredients. Click to see full size.

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Absolute Douglas Endless lashes mini mascara: I will spare you the review because not only does this mascara not exist anymore, the whole brand has been discontinued at the end of 2015. I just took a pic of my fingers with the brush, because the brush is really super big. I kept on stabbing myself in the eye, or applying mascara to my brows on accident. 😐

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MAC brow pencil Lingering: the quality is absolutely top notch. The color is brown, something that works for many people. But I am naturally very ashy and found this a tad too red to repurchase this particular color.

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La Roche Posay Rosaliac UV Legere: This is a cream with niacinamide (also written as nicotinamide, this is a derivate of vitamin B3). It has SPF 15, so first I used it as a day cream. It is tinted green, but too little to actually have effect, it’s just a gimmick. Despite being the legere version (there’s a riche one also) I found this cream very thick. And sadly, it left me looking incredibly greasy. It’s not that I was greasy (aka full of my own sebum) but this cream is just so shiny in not a god way. It was impossible to apply makeup on top. So I started using this as a night cream. And you know, in the long term it really worked. Short term I’d often get red in the face when I applied it. But long term, my acne and rosacea symptoms got so much less. My skin is calmer and better overall. But, because I really don’t need a greasy night cream with SPF I will not repurchase. Instead I am looking for creams with similar ingredients. Sadly I had not taken a pic of them before I threw the packaging away, so I can’t show them to you. Sorry. Basically I am looking for something with niacinamide, no alcohol, no perfume.

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Then I used up a sample of YSL Paris EdT. This is originally from the 80s and you can tell. I has a lot of notes, but I am overwhelmed by the powdery rose. Very rosey, very powdery. It was nice to test, but I’m not going to miss it.

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Last item! I also used up the Kiko kiss balm. This is very pigmented, comparable to a sheer lipstick. The balm had a lot of slick, it glides on very quickly. It made my lips feel good and look lovely. I am not sure if it had any long term benefits. It does come with SPF 15, though, which is good. I would recommend it for those who don’t want to put on lipstick and are looking for a colored balm instead. It’s too slick and too pigmented to use underneath lipstick even if you wiped most of it off again.

Wow, this was a mega post. In case anyone besides me finished reading all that, you deserve a cookie. 🙂

Current Skin Care Routine

Current Skin Care Routine

Over the last year I have rehauled my skin care routine. I was going to say “simplified”, but looking at the amount of products in my picture, maybe not. XD I have decided to go as gentle as possible, no harsh washing gels, less alcohol and irritating fragrance, more chemical peeling.

Skin 1

Cleansing

This means I cut out all the mechanical peelings and washing gels. Even the supposedly gentle one I used still irritated my skin (you can tell by how right after washing the skin will be tight and dry and about half an hour to an hour later the skin is oilier than before washing). So that left my cleansing milk Toleriane from La Roche Posay (I use this on makeup free skin only, even if it says it can remove makeup, it’s not very good at it); the Micellar Cleanser from Garnier; and for waterproof makeup the dual phase Camomille cleanser from the Body Shop. That one is okay, but I think when it’s used up I’ll go for another brand.

Skin 2

Moisture

Next step after cleansing is to add moisture back. I do not use any toner at the moment. I ran out (years ago, in fact) and realized I didn’t miss it. So I go right to moisture. You probably heard of Korean skin care by now, and how they layer like half a million products over each other. When I read about that I was like ‘that’s too much work’ but these days I do often use quite a few layers as well. In the midle of the pic you see MAC Fix+. You often see it mentioned that people spray this on after makeup, and the description on the bottle says it can be used before and after makeup. A look at the ingredients list tells me it’s made of water and some antioxidants – and nothing else. So while you can apply as last layer, the water will simply evaporate and might leave you drier than before. But when used as first layer and then locked in with heavier products, the moisture stays on the skin and the antioxidants can do their work. So when I use Fix+, I do it immediately on clean skin.

Then I start layering eye cream and lip balm (not pictured). My current eye cream is a cheap one from Balea, it has no bad ingredients (as far as I could tell) and a few antioxidants.

The moisturizer is Clinique Moisture Surge. It’s a light gel that, well it does exactly what the name promises. I will always use this when my skin is visibly dry, but at the moment I don’t use it every day. I use different serums (not pictured) and often don’t put anything on top of those. If I wanted to use both a serum and Moisture Surge I will layer the thicker texture over the lighter one.

Skin 4

Sun Care

The morning routine usually goes like this: cleansing, Fix+ and Sun care on top. When I wear makeup it’s usually MAC CC Cream with SPF 30. It’s the best option if I want to put something on top. My other options are a mattifying sun cream (not pictured) which leaves my skin super dry if I use it more than two days in a row and the two bottles on here: La Roche Posay Rosaliac UV Legere, a great cream with lots of Niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B3 and one of the best skin care ingredients ever) and SPF 15. The cream is slightly green tinted, but applied I don’t really see any difference. However, this one isn’t really good for wearing underneath makeup, as it has a greasy finish. No amount of powder helps here. So sadly despite this being really good for my skin I only wear it when I go makeup-less.

And the last bottle is my all over sun care: Louis Widmer 50+ Extra Sun Fluid. I wanted one without any alcohol or fragrance and there were not too many offerings. This one can be used for the body and face, however when I wear it with makeup I get a similarly shiny finish as with the Rosaliac.

Skin 3

Extras

These are the extra helpers. I don’t use them daily. The small grey bottle is the Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Mask. This is a colorless mask that you can either take off again or wear over night. It gives the skin extra moisture. As this is a smaller size I don’t have a list of the ingredients but I hope they’re not too bad. I use this only when my skin is flaky and often only on the dry parts of my face.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+: Chemical Peeling with Salicylic Acid and Capryloyl Salicylic Acid. I have found that for me it works best used every other day. It makes pores appear smaller (by getting the gunk out) and helps with spots.

La Roche Posay Cicaplast: For any kind of emergency, be it extremely dry and reddenend skin or huge spots or whatever else might happen.

And last is Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions mask, a white clay mask with Salicylic Acid. I use this whenever I feel like it, not too often.

So far the regime works out very well for me. In the future I want to be even more diligent about suncscreen and I’d like to add retinol at some point.

Do you have any tips? What are your go-to ingredients?

All Used Up April 2015

All Used Up April 2015

A little late, but here is my short list of empties for the last month:

Garnier Micellar

Not very unexpected; I keep going through bottles: Garnier Micellar Cleanser. This is the pink, original one. By now there are also a red one and a green one, for oily and for dry skin I believe? I don’t intend to switch. Be careful, the version for oily skin includes lots of alcohol. I don’t think that’s such a good idea.

Garnier Micellar ingredients

Ingredients list of the original, pink one.

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La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo: I finally used up my mini of the old version. After that I bought a full size of the new one, Effaclar Duo +. And I like the + even better.

Protein Shampoo

Douglas Hair Protein Repair Shampoo: This is pretty good, and left my hair very soft. But my hair was also very prone to flying around when I used this shampoo. For that reason I wouldn’t buy a full size.

clinique superdefense eye cream

Last item: Clinique superdefense SPF 20 eye cream. This one is a good thick eye cream. I think SPF 20 isn’t high enough (but try to find any eye creams with SPF at all!). I’m not sure, sometimes I felt like this cream made my concealer crease and my mascara melt. So I’m somewhat torn on this cream. It’s also helluva expensive. I’m not sure if it isn’t better to just slap my sun protection for the face up into the eye area.

And this was the empties post. Thank you for reading.

All Used Up Feb 2015

All Used Up Feb 2015

After no empties last month, I got a few of them this month:

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Alessandro Hand Spa Sun 50: a hand cream with high SPF. It was pretty good, maybe not as nourishing as I need it, but my hands seem to be unusually needy. The sun protection has worked very well, the one age spot I have on my hand even got a little lighter. The cream itself leaves a white cast due to the SPF 50. On my face that would annoy me, but on my hands I didn’t care too much.

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Two items from Nivea: First, the day cream (feuchtigkeitsspendende Tagescreme) with SPF 15 for normal skin. I may have reviewed this before, not entirely sure. It’s a rich face cream. I know it says ‘for normal skin’ and there’s an even richer one for dry skin, but this one is already pretty rich and I would only recommend it for dry skin. It worked well for me during this winter. The sample was surprisingly long lasting; I used this from the december  holidays all through january and part of february.

The other item is my new favorite shampoo: Pure Impact. I chose it for the short list of ingredients, because I don’t like silicones in my hair and the last few shampoos left my hair overwhelmed. Only at home I realized I had picked a men’s shampoo!

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List of ingredients. Sorry for the blurriness. 😦

Luckily the scent wasn’t cliché man-shampoo smell. In fact it’s very fruity. But not overwhelmingly so. This shampoo does exactly what it promises. It gets you clean in a gentle way. And that’s it. No volume, no extra shine or conditioning. It is a relief, I tell you, after all the gunk women’s shampoo has left in my hair! My hair has never been so soft and managable. I barely use conditioner anymore. You see, my hair is especially unruly and almost impossible to comb. Yes, it is also completely straight and it looks like it’s manageable, but it is not. Until now. I heart this shampoo! Repurchased already.

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Clinique Airbrush Concealer: Favorite under eye concealer. Perfect balance of pigmentation and highlighting. Already repurchased, the package you see here is from my new one.

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Balea Q10 Anti-Aging Hand Cream: Best hand cream I know. Have not repurchased yet, but will. Comes with SPF 10, that could be higher. Otherwise perfect.

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List of ingredients.

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La Roche Posay Toleriane Cleansing Milk: I already talked about it here. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, already repurchased. I guess I ran out of a lot of favs last month.

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A bad pic of the ingredients list.

And now, this is technically cheating because I ran out last week, but I don’t want to wait until April to talk about them:

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Rexona Aloe Vera Deodorant: yes, I use the evil, evil aluminium. Except it’s actually stable aluminium salts and I think it’s laughable the way people get worked up over aluminium that’s applied on the skin while they take in that much more with food. /rant

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Last item is Lancome‘s La Vie Est Belle EdP. If you want a representation of what this smells like, please watch this video. The smell is highly similar to Armani’s Si, but more rounded and grounded with a deeper streak. That didn’t make me like it more, it made me like it less. It’s like having overeaten. I don’t mean to say it’s a bad perfume, it’s like the epitome of a fruitchouli, a landmark. It’s just not for me. La vie est belle was created by Olivier Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo.

My Skincare Emergency Helpers

My Skincare Emergency Helpers

Thank you for 200 follows! I am utterly amazed so many people (or bots?) took the time to click on the follow button. 🙂

To celebrate I thought I’d write about my SOS skincare. (Sorry if you wanted a giveaway – I don’t have the time.) Sometimes skin is just not behaving. Be it acne, allergic reactions or annoying dryness, there are all sorts of skin problems that might pop up or get worse than usual when skin is “angry”. Sometimes, when you’re really lucky you get all of them at once! 😐

And then it’s time to step back from all the fancy stuff and elaborate skin care routine and reach for the SOS helpers. (Please note I can only write about what works for me here. I cannot guarantee it’ll work on everyone.)

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Yes, it’s all La Roche Posay. While I like many skin care brands, I have found that when worse comes to worst, I reach for LRP.

Starting from the smallest: It’s a sample of Effaclar Duo. You’re not allowed to be a blogger if you don’t at least own a small tube of it. 😉 Kidding, but there is a reason it’s so popular among bloggers and that is because it’s quite strong and shows visible effects in a matter of days. The Effaclar Duo is for acne, especially for the really big lumps deep inside the skin. It’s a strong exfoliant. This means while using this you’ll have a worse pizzaface than usual. While it seems as if it pulls the pimples to the surface, it really exfoliates and removes the top layers of the skin, so what was deep down before is on top now. That doesn’t sound so great, but it is a lot better than having massive lumps deep down for weeks!

When I use Effaclar Duo my skin starts shedding a whole lot more and I think it helps with the healing process. But it also means there’ll be dry pieces of skin every day. I tried to put a thin layer of this all over my face a few times thinking it would help prevent more acne. That did not work out so well for me. My face was red and even swollen all over and then shedding for two weeks. This is simply too strong for me, so I only use it on the lumps in very small amounts. Some bloggers report using it all over; I guess it depends on how sensitive you are. I still have the old version, I don’t know how the new version differs.

 

The middle tube is Cicaplast. This is my answer to pretty much every skin problem. It’s a soothing balm that helps with healing and calming down the skin. It was created to be used after chemical peels, but you can use it whenever. When my skin is really bad I use it instead of moisturizer and primer, but it’s not either. It’s more a salve and not made to be used every day. Emergency only. For me, it helps calm down and heal up pimples, angry red skin, cracked lips, you name it. It even works on small wounds (don’t use Effaclar Duo on wounds!). While I’d use the aggressive Effaclar Duo only at night or when I’m staying in, I’ll use Cicaplast evenings and mornings. Immediately after application my skin is redder, but then it settles down. It’s not really a good primer unless your skin is very dry. When I wear it under makeup I usually leave the nose or it’ll get too shiny.

 

And last is a cleanser, the Toleriane cleansing milk. It’s a gentle cleanser made to not aggravate the skin any further (very important for people with allergic skin problems and similar things). The bottle also claims it can be used for makeup removal all over including eyes. Well, I tried it and it didn’t work so well. It didn’t get the makeup off very well and it burned in my eyes. Funny that such a gentle cleanser burns, but it is gentle as long as I keep it away from eyes. (For gentle makeup removal try Garnier Micellar Cleanser instead.) That’s why I use this only on makeup free skin.

Before I got into makeup I used the same products morning and evening, but when I got into makeup I noticed two things: first, that strong cleansers made my skin red, which fades later but is annoying when putting on makeup. You don’t know if you’ve used too much, too little etc. And secondly, my skin seems to have a yo-yo effect. The stronger the cleanser is, the more sebum my skin produces afterwards. And that is noticeable in how oily and shiny my skin gets. Using a gentle cleanser like Toleriane in the morning makes my makeup last longer. So my philosophy to skin care became: gentle in the morning and stronger in the evening. The only times I use Toleriane morning AND evening is when my skin is so bad I don’t want to irritate it any further.

 

So these are my SOS skin care helpers, may you never need them. All of them are fragrance free and paraben free.

What are your favored helpers, tips, approaches?

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

 

All Used Up March 2014

All Used Up March 2014

These are my empties for the last month:

 

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La Roche Posay Hydreane Riche: They’re not kidding when they say rich. Suitable only for dry to very dry skin. I could only use this at night, because during the day it would melt my makeup off. Very soothing.

 

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Margot Schmitt Trocken Shampoo: Who designed this thing? Seriously, look at it! The pump also had a way of moving around while I pressed it, meaning the dry shampoo ended up all over the place. Would not buy again.

 

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Balea Volumen Shampoo Lotusblüte + Orange: It always takes me so long to use up shampoo that it is discontinued when I do. This shampoo did add volume and was overall pretty good. Balea shampoo is mostly unbeatable for its price: a 300 ml bottle like this costs 79 cent. While I can’t repurchase this one (discontinued) I will always buy some Balea shampoo.

 

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Alessandro pedix feet heel rescue balm: Smells softly of mint and keeps feet super smooth. When I went for a pedi while using this I got a surprised comment over how well moisturized my feet were. I might get a full size.

 

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Lancome Eau Micellaire Doceur: A repurchase. This is a makeup remover staple of mine and I wish it wasn’t because it is so expensive and it also contains alcohol. But it works and doesn’t irritate my skin. Still, I am on the lookout for a cheaper option. Will try Garnier next.

 

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Marbert 24h Aqua Booster Intensives Feuchtigkeits-Serum: I like that even the 10 ml sample comes with a pump. This is a blue gel that is supposed to give you 24 hours of moisture. It does not. In fact, it does not even give one hour of proper moisture in my opinion. However, my skin is more on dry side and this is an oil-free gel. So while the name might mislead one into thinking this is a product for dry skin, it is not. It is a lot more suitable for oily skin.

Glossybox Österreich Januar 2014

Glossybox Österreich Januar 2014

A new year, a new Glossybox.

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A new ribbon, too. The box itself looks different too, tbh I liked the older one better, it looked classier. Now the box is shiny, and instead of just the logo it also has “Glossybox” on it and the shade of pink is more squeaky?

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Samples of Calvin Klein Down Town; not the usual spray samples, but three of these things you rip open to smell.

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First look into the box.

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100% spa by Karmameju: A konjac sponge! I heard good things about these.

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Benefit the Porefessional: the tube next to the packaging is NOT the one that came with the packaging (it’s still unopened); Glossybox included a 3 ml sample, I’ve already had a 7,5 ml sample, so you get a review right here (reminds me that I have lots of Benefit products that I need to review).

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It looks like this out of the tube, sadly I squeezed out too much.

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Spread out it is invisible. It leaves a silicony-silky finish, hides pores and small wrinkles. For comparison, my naked arm:

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Yeah, it’s probably not that visible on pics, but the porefessional leaves an unreal finish, your skin looks more like a doll than human. Uncanny. As a primer, it does what it says, it covers pores. Other than that, nothing. It does not make my makeup last longer, it feels a little drying. I guess you should only apply it to areas with large pores, as it’s completely useless on the side of your cheek. Personally, I’m using those samples, but I wouldn’t buy a full size.

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La Roche Posay Hydreane Riche: I think I had this in a box before? I’m very happy about it because my skin is being unreasonable and I think this cream helps.

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Opticalm Gouttes Bleues: I checked it and the bottle is see through  – the liquid IS that blue! On the one hand, eye drops are a nice idea, who doesn’t get dry eyes sometimes? On the other hand, it’s electric blue and contains mostly flower extracts – a bad idea for someone with allergies.

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bebe more Fresh eyes & face cleanser for sensitive skin: I am super on the fence about this. On the one hand, the bebe more cream they sent before has been the worst cream I tried on my face EVER! I have been meaning to write a scathing review for a month. On the other, it looks like the sort of cleanser that I really like.

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I couldn’t get a better pic of the ingredients, sorry. There are not too many ingredients and nothing that raises my hackles. But the cream looked okay too and it wasn’t. I’ll keep you updated on this.

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And last, the obligatory hair full size. Please take a second to read what it says: Gliss Kur Million Gloss Kristall Öl: Shimmering gloss & millionized light reflexion. Like, what? Did they hire the marketing dude who usually sells L’Oreal mascara?

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A look at the ingredients shows that while the color is different and the name is a mouth full, it is exactly like EVERY other hair conditioning product on the market: silicone, silicone, apricot oil. Yawn. Well, alright they changed the argan for apricot, but that’s about it. Not exactly an innovation.

 

Overall: I like that they put in a benefit product, even if I already owned this particular one. The sponge is a great idea, as well, something not everybody has yet. You can never go wrong with La Roche Posay. The hair products annoy me endlessly. I have a whole drawer of completely unused full size hair stuff from Glossybox. If I unsubscribe, it’s gonna be because of those. Who needs this many, even if you only try them out?

Well, I will se what the february box brings before deciding.

Glossybox Österreich Mai 2013

Glossybox Österreich Mai 2013

Well, look at that! Glossybox managed to send the May box in the month of May! Now let’s see what’s in it, shall we?

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A pink note book for your glossy notes. Um. *shrug*

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Underneath we find this month’s products. Looking good?

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Clinique repairwear laser focus: win! Sample size.

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Neutrogena Body balm with nordic berry: My pot of Balea body cream is just about to run out, so this should be useful. Full size of 200 ml.

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Syoss Glossing Shine Seal (Glanz-Versiegelungs Fluid): this is another leave in oil spray. Full size of 100 ml. Yes I know only two weeks ago on last month’s box I said I want all the argan oil products, but I take it back.This is the third full size oil spray I got from Glossybox, when am I supposed to use them all? Also, out of the three, this one is surely the worst, it is drowning in silicone. Note that it is a personal preference and not a hard boiled fact if silicone is good or bad, but I strongly prefer to use as little as possible on my hair. The first two ingredients in this are Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone, and only then the good oils follow. And this product claims to be lightweight… This bottle is free to go to a good home.

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La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Creme with SPF 20: Oh I like LRP products and I was about to switch to a slightly darker BB Creme – but note how this product says it’s medium in color. I surely clicked “very pale” on my profile. Swatch is a bit farther down the post. Sample size.

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Jelly Pong Pong Lip Blush: Oh, a chubby stick kind of product! I didn’t have one like this yet. Full size.

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Swatches: left Jelly Pong Pong, a creamy red that was very hard to wash off again, which bodes well for a lip product. On the right is La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Creme in Medium, as you can see on me it would be brown face – bad, bad. Sadly, free to go to a good home, especially annoying because it looks like a great cream, with good coverage. Nothing like that Aok Blemish Balm from the January box. Will they ever send me face make up that I can use on my face?

 

Alright, this makes a solid box, could be better, but there’s three products I’ll surely use up, so it’s okay.

Next up on Dandygal: Glossybox Men!

 

All used up in March

All used up in March

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Eucerin Hyaluron Filler

This came in my Feb Glossybox, please excuse if I reuse the pic, but the “empty pot” pic looks no different. This face cream is for combination to oily skin. I have combination skin, but I’m always weary about products for combination to oily, since they are often very light and don’t give enough moisture to my skin. Oily skin needs moisture too! I should have been more trusting, since it even has “hyaluron” in its name, not just the ingredient list.

Upon opening it though, the product looked like a normal cream for dry skin. Application was rich and moisturizing, made my skin super glowy and obviously moisturized! This of course made me worry that it might be too rich and break me out. But that didn’t happen. I think my pores even looked a bit better with this. All in all a great product and I can only recommend it. I would repurchase it if I didn’t have what feels like 8672364 creams to use up.

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Also used up and also no new picture, this time because I forgot to take one before I threw the empty packaging away:

The Body Shop Strawberry Puree Body Lotion

Before I can even talk about the product I have to complain about the packaging. These little body shop bottles are a chore! The first time around they are normal and nice to use, the second time, when there’s only a little product less in the bottle it’s already harder to get it out and from the third time onwards it’s absolutely impossible! Squeeze the bottle all you want, shake it, stick your finger in – this goo stays firmly inside! I’m sad I can’t show you a pic of the used up lotion because the bottle was very battered.

The lotion itself smells strongly of fake strawberry, so strong I could smell it washing off when showering the next day. It’s sticky and goopy. It moisturizes the skin a little, but not well enough to put up with the downsides.

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Hildegard Braukmann exquisit Rose Dew Cream Mask

This was a left over from my obsession with natural cosmetics. It is supposed to moisturize the skin, if I remember properly. The scent was certainly like roses, which is a scent I personally do not like, but I’m sure there’s lots of people who love it. Of course even if I liked the scent, perfume in face products is a pet peeve of mine. The mask certainly did something to my skin, as it was usually red when I washed this off and red means my skin had exfoliated/soaked something up, but after the redness faded I could tell no difference.

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Korres Pomegranate Mask

Another left over from my natural cosmetics days. I don’t usually buy natural cosmetics anymore because I was allergic to a Korres eye cream and was very sad about that.  Especially since Korres try to be careful about ingredients. (Of course you can be allergic to anything, but still I’m more wary about natural cosmetics now.) Well I wasn’t allergic to this mask. It’s a typical white clay mask with lactic acid, which exfoliates your skin. It’s good, but not “omg wow”. There are both better and worse masks out there.

Also used up but no picture:

Balea Olive Hand Cream: Very good, very cheap.

La Roche Posay Effaclar face cleanser: by this I mean the micellaire cleanser, not the other one. LRP does two different micellaire cleansers, one for normal skin (with perfume) and one for oily and irritated skin (without perfume). The one for oily and irritated skin is the Effaclar one. It is very good at removing makeup, didn’t irritate my skin and I believe there were less break outs while I used it. This may have been connected to anything on earth of course. You never know with acne. Anyway, this one is good for eyes, lips and all over the face. Would repurchase if I wasn’t trying to try out aaaaaaaall the micellaire cleansers!

By the way I’m using the word micellaire because I find it looks better than micells (Mizellen)… The ingredient to look for is Poloxamer *insert three-digit number here*, since not all the products put “micellaire” or a similar word in the name or description.