Beauty

Favorite beauty products of 2018

23. 3. 2019

I spent way too little time talking about my favourite products last year, which is unfortunate because I came across many great ones that deserve more attention on the blog. This time I’ll discuss those that always spark my joy, as Marie Kondo would say :) My first intention was to choose only five products, but then I realised I’d do many of them injustice. So here’s a bunch of skincare products and some makeup, but a lot less than in the previous years. Because there are many items to go through, you should bring yourself a cup of tea or coffee – or simply read those you’re most interested in. Anyway, my intention is to write about my favorites more often this year because I do test a lot of products and it would be a shame not to spread the word!

My most favorite product is without a doubt the Beauty Sleep Power Peel by Alpha H. Beauty Sleep is an overnight treatment with 15% glycolic acid and 0,5% retinol that can be used by itself or applied over a serum. Because I use different active ingredients almost every day, I usually apply it once a week. The price is quite high, around €60, but me and Dunja once found a 1+1 discount and got ourselves one each for the same price. It’s got a wonderful effect on the skin, which makes it much smoother and glowy in the morning while also improving collagen production. If you’re looking for an effective product, I wholeheartedly recommend the Beauty Sleep Power Peel. Although it’s quite expensive, very little goes a long way.

There’s one product that dominated the Slovenian beauty scene, and that’s the White Cleansing Butter by Natura Siberica. There are two different versions available, a black one with charcoal and a white one that I have and am really impressed with. Because I hate creating mess around the bathroom sink, my method is slightly different. I massage the product into my skin, but then wipe everything off with a cotton pad instead of rinsing with water. As the second cleansing step I use a gel cleanser, such as the one by Annemarie Borlind or Dr. Organic active charcoal gel, and then finish off with a toner to remove any remaining makeup. This cleansing butter is very gentle to the skin, which is very soft and much less dry after use compared to micellar waters.

As for the moisturizers, I loved using the Toleraine Ultra Fluide by La Roche Posay. Toleraine is not that fluidy as one would imagine, but looks more like a runny cream. It’s mostly suitable for oily and mixed skin and due to its neurosenine content, it can be used on skin prone to allergies, too. It worked great in the morning before applying the foundation. As you can see from the photo, the bottle is completely empty and I’ll surely buy it again. What can I say, the French definitely know what they’re doing!

Last year I kept myself from testing new foundations. When I struggle with skin problems, my first goal is to find products that suit me and I don’t change them for quite some time. The thing is, last January I stopped taking the pill after 10 years; I  started taking them in high school due to acne. Last April or May, my skin problems returned in even an harsher form, which really shook me to the core. Most of the problems luckily went away, but I stayed true to my favorite Vichy Dermablend. Their color selection isn’t the best (at least in Slovenia), but the shade 25 blends with my skin surprisingly well. The foundation stays put throughout the entire day, has a beautiful finish and a great coverage. And concealer is completely optional, which really speeds up my makeup routine. However, there is an even more long-lasting and mattifying version available, i.e. the Vichy Dermablend 3D, aimed at oily and acne-prone skin. I’ve had it once, it has an amazing coverage, but is slightly too drying for my taste. But if you really struggle with oily skin, ask for a sample at the drugstore, but beware that the shade numbers of the two foundations don’t match.

There are also three eye makeup items that have become an essential part of my daily look. I always come back to the L’Oréal Paradise Extatic mascara, which beautifully extends the eyelashes and gives them volume. But it becomes quite messy on the top of the packaging and needs to be wiped off from time to time. Because I’m one of those lucky gals who have hooded eyes, this means that my eyeliner normally smudges in a matter of hours. But everything changed when I received the Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner in the Lookfantastic Beauty Box. It doesn’t smudge and the felt tip creates a beautiful flick that I never managed to do with a brush :) And because brows are the frame of the face, I have to point out the Bobbi Brown brow pencil. I bought it “by mistake” when my colleague needed a new one, so off we went to the Bobbi Brown counter and both chose the same product! This pencil is wider than usual, which also means that the brows are finished much quicker. It’s actually quite stiff to the touch, but applies normally when it comes into contact with the warmth of the skin. I also love the spoolie brush on the other end; but this pencil is quite expensive as it retails at around € 40.

I won’t go into specific facial masks, but I have to mention the Eye Therapy under eye mask by Beauty Pro. This is by far the best eye mask I’ve ever tried. It contains collagen and green tea, which make the skin glowy as hell and the pores become almost invisible! I’m surprised by its effect every single time. Sometimes I leave it on the skin over an hour to achieve the best result.

Rêve de miel by Nuxe was saving my lips for the entire year – this is my second pot and a tiny bit goes a really long way. But I have to admit that I prefer the previous version, this formulation seems more waxy. The scent is different as well, but I still love it and it keeps me company on the bedside table every night.

The last item I have to tell you about is the Kérastase Elixir Ultime, the hero that hydrated my dry ends since the spring. It’s aimed at coloured hair and although I only have balayage, I chose this one for several reasons. The reviews stated that the original (golden) oil was changed and became less effective as it used to be, and the scent of the rose version was supposed to be nicer, too. I’m over the moon with this hair oil, my hair is incredibly shiny after use and it also gives them some weight (sort of an anti frizz effect). I didn’t use it sparingly, which is why the content of the bottle is slowly coming to the end. It costs around € 35 and if you have shorter hair, you’ll definitely have it for quite a while!

And there it is, these were the products that left a mark on my beauty year. Do you find some of your favorites in my selection? :)

Beauty

My tips for healthy and shiny hair

10. 2. 2019


This time around I’ll share a few thoughts about hair care. I’m lucky enough to have naturally thick and strong hair, but I still have to work on achieving that wonderful shine. Because of balayage, my ends are dry and split. This is why I like using conditioners and oils in particular, which are crucial if you ask me. I also suffered from irritated scalp, so I developed my own techniques to keep it healthy while keeping my hair in good condition. Below you will find some tips that may be useful to some of you – but keep in mind that I’m not an expert and these products may not suit you. Unfortunately, genetics play an important role and hair is also affected by your general health, so it’s sometimes best to seek a doctor’s advice.

1. If you have an irritated scalp or dandruff, I wholeheartedly advise you to invest into a high-quality shampoo you’ll only use on your scalp. I struggled with dandruff in younger years and although Head&Shoulders worked for the dandruff, my hair just didn’t agree with it. And this happened a lot, whenever I changed the shampoo, my scalp got oily and irritated. For this reason, I always use two separate products. In the last year, my staple shampoo has been the thickening Densi-Solutions shampoo by Vichy. Although it’s aimed at thinning hair, it completely calmed my scalp and I didn’t have any problems even in the summer, which is the season I most struggle in. I usually purchase it at Leposana or at a pharmacy.

2. Invest into a high quality hair oil. I’ve been using the Kérastase Elixir Ultime for colored hair for the last year and without a doubt this is the best investment ever. I apply the oil after washing my hair and continue by combing through with a detangling hair brush. Unlike some other products, this dry oil does not make hair oily (when my ends are really dry, I apply up to 2–3 pumps). I tried products from many different brands and prefer Kérastase over  Aussie or L’Occitane (although they both have a nice scent), but I have yet to test out the famous Moroccanoil. Nevertheless, this one adds some weight to the hair so they look much smoother – and if I further straighten my hair, it looks like I’ve just come out of a hair salon. It costs around EUR 40, which is not a small amount, but I’ve had this bottle for over a year and there’s still a quarter left.

3. Use of quality shampoos, conditioners and masks will not go unnoticed. Although I firmly believe that you don’t need to invest a lot of money into these items, the hair is nevertheless more smooth and shiny compared to cheaper products. For the past few months I’ve been using the shampoo and conditioner by Maria Nila, which were kindly sent to me by a Slovenian oniline store Star Beauty. This Swedish company has a sustainable approach to producing high quality hair products. Both items are part of the Heal line, have a nice fruity scent (which is why they are such a pleasure to use!) and leave my hair very sleek. Combined with the Kérastase oil, the final look of my hair is excellent! Their effect is similar to the luxurious Alterna products, which are slightly more expensive.

4. If you blow dry, straighten or curl your hair, use heat protectants. Heat really damages your hair and if you color them often, you’ll end up with split ends sooner than later (which doesn’t look good or healty). I don’t like complicating with heat protectants and just believe they get the job done. But nicely scented products surely have priority, because some smell really bad and remind me of acid. I currently use the Maria Nila Cream Heat Spray, which I received alongside the shampoo and conditioner. Not only does the spray smell like candy, it protects my hair from UV rays and further damage. I spray it on wet hair before blow dry and proceed with the Kérastase oil a few minutes later.

Do you use any other products/have any tips that may help others? You’re kindly invited to join the discussion below :)

Beauty

Makeup Revolution Reloaded Palette – Authority

28. 1. 2019


This time I’ll discuss the Re-Loaded Palette (Authority) by Makeup Revolution, which was part of the 2018 Advent Calendar.  I opened the calendar every single morning, even if I almost forgot about that before leaving for work at 6.15 am! :) The Re-Loaded Palette has a nice combination of matt and shiny eyeshadows. The shades are mainly neutral, from matt earthy to glittery orange and pink undertones. What is also important is that the palette has a black eyeshadow, which is great for adding extra dimension to the outer corner of the eyelid. I usually apply one of the brown shades all over my eyes. Then I add a shiny eyeshadow from the center outwards, and blend a tiny bit of black or dark brown in the outer corner.

As for the quality of these eyeshadows, they’re all quite powdery. This is very true for the lighter shades with glitter, which don’t stick to the skin well (particularly if I apply a matt shade beforehand). I probably should’ve sprayed the brush a little bit, but truth be told, I’m not keen to experimenting with my eye makeup 10 minutes before I leave the house :) However, I feel that they would apply well using fingertips – I think this is a very underrated technique!

All in all, I can say that this palette is really nice and you can make a number of different looks. Because they aren’t highly pigmented, these shades are very appropriate for beginners as a mistake here and there will not cause that many troubles!