Sunday, 15 November 2015

Seaweed bathing with Mungo Murphy, or I'm a Miso Soup!

Since Autumn has finally set its windy foot in Holland, bathing seems to be the equivalent of a summer's evening lounging at a sweet terasse.

And because leaves are falling aplenty outside, I picked up some leaves for the inside as well.

For the bath, that is...

There are various ways of bathing ranging from frothy bubbles, moisturizing oils and detoxifying salts. This time I went for the real sea-perience and got some seaweed from Mungo Murphy's.

So why seaweed? Why not? It is told to be brimming with all types of rejuvenating goodies, and it also a bliss for eczematic skin and other minor skin-irritations:

"Seaweed baths have been used for many, many years to treat skin imperfections, reduce the appearance of cellulite, improve blood circulation, detoxify the body, soften stiff muscles, improve thyroid health and to alleviate the symptoms of acne, psoriasis and eczema."

This particular seaweed is from the Irish place Connemara. I googled it, and they have a total spa-experience around this place (see tripadvisor here)

 Though this woman is having a lovely view on a mysterious lake, I also enjoyed my home experience with the windy, leafy view.

Though beneficial, not everybody should be getting into these leaves:

Which brings me to the next thing: it might not be everybody's cup of tea  bathing. The traces of shellfish described above, it is slightly apparent in the fragance. Or yes, I do feel like a part of a misa soup when bathing!

The after-effect took a while, like most beneficial baths. You get slightly tired first, but my energy level was a lot higher the next morning. My skin felt softer and my minor irritations had been diminished.

I paid £3.90 for a single bag (here): it is not cheap but if you can still remember summer, a cocktail on that terasse would set you back the same amount of cash. And this is such a healthy and spa-like option for autumn and the upcoming winter. 

So what different beauty rituals do you go for when the season changes?

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Gettin' Soapy with Naomi Pure Beauty

There is something wonderfully old-school about a good piece of clean soap. 

Nowadays it does not have to be that all-removing type like our mums use to treasure. We can have both worlds of gentle care and practical hold. And how convenient is something non-liquidy for travel? 
I have already been testing some gorgeous Osmea Beauty soaps lately. But for shipping reasons, I wanted to look closer and more European. 

Yeh, I know! I should buy locally Dutch at the rural market but somehow the soap-making qualities have not been as esthetically pleasing as Naomi Pure Beauty. And carbon offset from Ireland is not as bad as US right? And for some reason I find the air more pure in Ireland than my own little (crowded/polluted) country so there you go...

1. Black Magic

 My first choice is not based on some eerie need for potential voodooooooo; I was simply looking for something with active charcoal after seeing it featured as "wonderproduct" on far far away US Osmeabeauty site. Claimed as healing for eczema and congested skin, I wanted to give the active charcoal a shot.

Naomi Pure Beauty is even more positive about Black Magic with Activated Charcoal as it can be a "Acne Remedy, Reduce Blemishes, Skin Perfection, Clean Skin, Detoxify, Purify". 

I have been using it a couple of times, and it is a strong soap. With strong I mean that it has the properties to make your skin wonderfully clean like one of those hamman experiences. I soaped myself in and got the exfoliating body brush to accompany it. Afterwards, my skin became even more clean than the grainy sugar/salt scrubs I use frequently.

The water will mix in greyish when you use it. That seems like proof that the charcoal is not just a gimmic.

It is not the type of soap I would use every day, due to overexfoliating. However, how delightfully detoxifying this one is when using one or two times a week.

2. Seaweed Soap

I picked up my second soap on the same account I frequently pick up a anti-cellulite lotion: Slimming! I am normal sized but the thighs are always demanding. Winter time often brings in the warming chocolaty drinks, mmmmm, so slathering them in seaweed soap makes me think that they can stay in their trusted pair of skinny jeans.

I have only used it once, and it smells like a mix of soap and something leafy. I'm not a seaweed expert but I guess that is probably it. The embedded seaweed bits function as a exfoliating tool so you actually stimulate the so-called problem area twice.

3. Cafe Mocha

 I just bought this soap for scentual pleasure. Good for me: no agenda! Ok, getting clean ofcourse or I could just sniff the coffee I brewed earlier, right?

It smells nice and coffee-ish but it could be slightly stronger. Perhaps I have to use it some more times to let the fragance cure a bit more.

4. Coconut Soap

 The coconut soap is marketed as a shampoo soap. My hairstory is extremely difficult: My damaged hair only tolerates Alterna Caviar Repair X line lately so I did not expect miracles from this one.

That said, I tried it and it is a pure way of washing hairs. My hair did not look too bad afterwards, but I still need the Alterna Caviar Repair X to make it look like it has not been traumatised (it has). So I like it as a more neutral soap for the body.
Overall, I really like these soaps and the price has been fantastic for the quality thinking it is about 3.50 per soap. The labels looks instagram-worthy and that is important these days.

I gotten the four in a set over here for 12 which is a fab deal. It will make a cute holiday gift for those people you do not really know that well, but are still on you "to know better"-list.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Déjà-Buy: Asian Skincare trending...

That is soooo 8 years ago....

Or, for bloggers like myself who have been buying  and liking Asian skincare for a longer time now...

I still bought this skincare set from Sephora 

a. there have been new innovations and brands 
b. I liked it 8 years ago 
c. cute, travel size skincare!

Dr. Jart + has been one of my frequent gmarket hauls. Erborian has been available in our perfume/makeup stores and I tried a Belif sample too.

I have been most interested in the SK-II facial treatment Essence:

I like Asian skincare trending, but I also feel like I miss the fact that it is not a niche anymore. There is something about sampling up your goods and trying to translate Korean:

From this post in 2010

 However, I guess the people in Asia probably feel more that nothing is new about it.

So how do you feel about Asian skincare trending?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Alexis Smart Wholehearted Remedy: a Sad Bunny Soother

I talk a lot about beauty, duh...beautyblogger. But if we go to "Happiest Girls are the Prettiest" (Audrey Hepburn), I have been lacking lately on the field of happiness.

Enter: Alexis Smart Wholehearted Remedy

I have been trying, and liking, Alexis Smart Beauty Formula no. 8 before (here). This time, I would go beyond the superfical to soothe my sadness.

So why the sadness? That is a very long story but to make it less complicated and more beauty related: necessary hairtrims.

The longer story: A couple of years ago I have lost my mother to cancer. I really held on to the hair that she touched and caressed for the last time. My hair was healthy and was able to grow a lot. My longest length was towards my booty.
Over the last 3 years I have been doing regular trims, with a sad heart every time as I would loose more of my 'mother's touched hair'. Eventually, I probably trimmed all of this hair. But symbolically, I felt more connected to my mother for still having long hair.
Then I made it blonder, so I looked more like my mother used to do. Something soothing about having the pale locks like my mother used to have. But this did not do the quality of my hair any favours either...
the ingredients to soothe a Sad Bunny? Perhaps...

So people who say "it's just hair"...It often never is "just" for a woman.

Well, you know my blog and if you find my tag 'Hair' you will find all types of products I tried to keep it healthy.

But my sadness goes further that this too, but it is a large part of it.

So I needed a Fairy Godmother or such:

USING Alexis Smart Wholehearted:

Wholehearted works like most flower remedies: take a couple of drops a day under the tongue. In Wholehearted's care: four times. 

Four drops a day keeps the sadness away (?)


Since I have been going to University again, I had to go by train. It was emotionally so exhausting seeing various women with really long hair that sometimes I started crying for the whole train-ride. 

What a wonderful impression, right, when you still have to listen and look representative during lectures.

After a month I feel I can cope a bit better. Somehow my inner voice seems to filter things a bit better and things that were absolutely awful and intolerable can still feel bad, but I can keep a better control over the crying and other sadness-related emotions.
not quite yet, but soonish...

That does not mean I am there yet. I still need something more than drops: the occasional empathetic talk or a bit of sympathy. I could use a nice hairdresser too, but I guess that would be a case of intuition, some good references and a bit of Fairy Bunny luck.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Brightening Game: Arcona Brightening Drops, Dermaceutics Mela Cream, Andalou Enlightening Serum & Jurlique Purely Bright

So there's been this pigment spot I got last year...

The thing about pigment spots is that they are easy to contract, but super-difficult to get rid of. Somewhat like a STD? And the continious functioning and re- re- re- applying sunblock as the contraceptive? Or, abstain from the sun if you want to be safest!

Yes, I already had a couple of IPL laser session but some pigment is still there. I have brought in four of these creams that make a difference. 

 Arcona Brightening Drops


Arcona is classified as natural but with a Cosmeceutical approach. This is the most liquidy of the four. It feels like a essence or toner that feels slightly zingy when applied. I apply it topically on the spot itself, as all over.
Agua (Distilled Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Azelaic Acid, Gallic Acid, Lactic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Ester, Kojic Acid, Arbutin, Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) Extract, Bilberry Extract, Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis) Seed Extract. 
 The main focus is on exfoliation by the various acids with a natural background. Arbutin, Vitamin C and Bilberry are ingredients that target hyperpigmentation

Dermaceutics Laboratoire Mela Cream:


I got this from a dermalogist who was probably too busy to give me IPL and adviced me this cream instead (I know, how weird, right?). It packs a lot of active ingredients that target lightening, like:
Kojic, Salicylic, Phytic and Mandelic acids, Arbutin, Niacinamide, Retinol and Licorice Extract.

It does feel like a real retinol treatment that you have to build up the intensity over time. I alternate it with Arcona brightening drops and use it in the evening about twice a week.

Andalou Tumeric & C Enlightening Serum


I finally went back to my early thirties habit of Vitamin C! I actually feel this one is the most effective of the four in terms of making my skin more glowy. I've been using it for two weeks now (morning) and since then my skin gotten brighter. Best thing, unlike the two above: this one does not sting and feels even calming.

Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Extract*, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lauric Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) Polyphenols, Borago Officinalis (Borage) and Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Oils*, Glyceryl Monolaurate, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) and Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oils*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract*^, Laminaria Digitata (Kelp) Extract, Allantoin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil* 

Wholey Cow (must be the Tumeric), there is a buckload of effective ingredients in there. I already take tumeric as a morning drink so I believe in its clarifying properties.  I could rave a while but look at who loves it too (here).

Jurlique Purely Bright Night Moisturizer


One of my mid-thirties brighteners I come back to every time. It takes a month or two but I feel it has an effect on me.

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Heptyl Undecylenate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, SD Alcohol 40-A (Alcohol Denat.), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Squalane, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosa Gallica Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Viola Odorata (Sweet Violet) Extract, Viola Tricolor (Pansy) Extract, Sambucus Nigra (Black Elder) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Prunella Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract, Anogeissus Leiocarpus Bark Extract, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Fragrance (Parfum*), Tocopherol, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Totarol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Eugenol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Isoeugenol*.

Even a longer list. I am most enthousiastic about the liquorice compound in this one. It it not a completely natural brand but I seem to tolerate the rest of the ingredients as well. It smells somewhat soothing like a light babypowder.

Up close, serum-y

Arcona has the most liquidy texture, Dermaceutic is your typical Retinol with a kick and slightly more lotion-y. Andalou is a light daycream and Jurlique is also quite light for a nightcream. 

 Obviously, I use all four for a different reason. The ingredients of each are different but still came out as effective in (some) studies. Ok Ok, I am sceptical enough not to believe "studies say"-rhetorics but when various outcomes are good, I'm willing to try. 
My skin is rather sensitive but I can tolerate most of them at the time being. I hope I can still brighten the *&^ out of that spot before winter time.

Then it will be time to balm up again in all types of soothing concoctions....

So what's your Brightening Game?

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Cocktail Hour-glass (mixing) Primer n.28 with Kjaer Weiss Foundation, or Opposites Attract

Sometimes it's just trial & error succes...


Beauty stuff ain't easy! How informed we can get by the internet & the upteenth flow or reviews and tutorial, you never know how it will work on you unless you try.

Venturing into Kjaer Weis foundation was one of these things: the reviews were praising it as the next savior; I found it a bit difficult to work with: Dry texture, slightly sticky formula, etc.

Kjaer Weiss foundation is a bit dry

Similar with Hourglass Primer n. 28...Or perhaps the opposite. "Darn, that stuff is slippery! Did someone left the lube out there?"

 Since Frankening it up has been a thing since...I guess 2004 (nailpolish board Makeupalley), or longer I made some good sense out of the two and mixed them.

Sometimes I just use the primer on my skin first, and smooth the dryer texture of Kjaer Weis over it. 

It is not something you might never read about before but I really like the way these opposites attract and seem to work as a base for me.

The moral of this Story: 
Try some concoctions before you chuck away your good stuff!

Friday, 9 October 2015

September's Used Ups

I have not been doing this for a while but I still like to share my September Used Ups: 

  • Arcona Peptide Firming Complex: I absolutely loved this one. Natural and it packs a potent pair of ingredients on the face. 
  •  Sunwarrior Fulvic Acid 'Immune Shield: Since Phylia's De M's Connect (read here & here) I have been intrigued in taking Fulvic Acid. Phyllia's version is a whopping £160.00 whereas this one is €31. Not sure if it works on hair-health but it helps to keep germs/viruses at bay.
  •  Lierac Ultra Body Lift 10: Me and my anti-cellulite routine. I like this specific one in pink.
  •  Yarok Feed Your Roots Hairmouse. Another favourite organic hairstyling tool that works even better than its chemical siblings.
  • Antonia Burrell Creme Supreme: I had to get used to this cream but I loved how it smoothes my larger pores and made me feel I had actually good skingenes. Con: expensive!
  • Skeen Intensive Revival Gel: One from team boys (review here) and so fab for puffy mornings! 
  • Aurelia Revitalise and Glow serum: A staple when the season changes -> good at calming AND anti-ageing.
  •  Tatcha Deep Brightening serum: How much I like Tatcha, I did not see a radical change.
  • Kure Bazaar nailpolish in Rose Milk: a 3-free polish with the best milky pink base.
  •  sample Leonor Greyl Volumising Shampoo: quite good at volumizing without drying hair.
  • Makeup Forever Smokey Lash intense Mascara: I love this one a lot but I can only buy it in France or Spain. Oh well, good excuse to visit either country :-)
  •  Eyepencils NARS & Marc Jacobs Beauty in Black: both travel size and both efficient & long lasting
Giovanni Perfectly Platinum Shampoo (& Conditioner) is the organic answer to all those purple un-brassy shampoos. Soft and non-irritating and it has enough purple to keep the hair fresh.

Oh, by the way. My last blogpost said something about E. So (disclaimer:) I have never done drugs in my young years...just hanging or clubbing with good and lousy friends and the occasional wine/cocktail etc. But the pun behind the E numbers is that many people who are living so healthy these days have been quite naughty before. But that's life and generation amnesia, right?