Wednesday, 16 April 2014

T is for Toner: Natural Being Manuka Toning Gel

I have a confession: I like toners, but I can ignore them easily as well: sometimes I believe my basic cleansing is enough. But unlike some opinions, I think they really can do something for the skin, or even your mood.

Gel-toners are fairly new to me. I think they are a bit like the Japanese Emulsion steps: not a real water but thin enough to pass as an in between real cleansing and serum/daycream. So when I saw a natural variety with Manuka in it: I got it!
So I've been going more natural/organic lately for specific reasons. I love the planet and think even one person can make a change, but foremost it has been vanity and sensitivity. But let's check out the sustainability of the product first: 

I went in easy #hashtag mode to sum up the benefits: #truebeautyfromwithin but #greatskincarehelps. Also #respect4Nature & #Nicetobunniesetc.

The #antimicrobial function is also perfect for acne-prone skin. Manuka is an absolute powerhouse on this function and the native Australians even put it on their wounds. I've once layered it over Pixel-lasered skin (gone quite wrong) and it really calmed & healed.
  • the gel-form feels soothing on the skin
  • adding the manuka adds to calming down
  • the gel-texture helps in removing everything the previous cleanser did not remove
  • without stripping skin from natural/protecting oils
  • the rest of the gel will dry: aka similar as most Japanese Emulsion steps.
  • Mid-range price
  • smells light like a hint of honey and a tad of something zesty (probably the geranium)
  • Good ingredient-list:
    I used it when my skin had been really sensitive and it really made a difference in toning it down. And after it has done that, I kinda forgot about it (like I said in the beginning about toners). Which in a way means that it does work, because I will not need it as often. However, I think I should be more consistent about using this as it will only strengthen my skin in the long run and will help into getting less sensitive too.

    You can get it straight from their website and read more about their philosophies too.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Korean Soap *star* Allure

I jumped on the Korean Soap-wagon and gotten myself the Innisfree no 6 Maple Burgundy lippy.

Actually, it's the lip Laquer instead of the lipstick but let me explain further: Korean Soap? For washing?

Nope, Koreans have been quite the comedians for a couple of years. I really adored My Sassy Girl and Miss Korea is the most anti-botox in facial expressions:

And the way the main character,  Oh Ji-yeong, slightly dominates her male opposers by her gestures, demeanor, etc:

All underlined by her fierce lipstick(s). Which proves, you can be as chaotic/human/imperfect as Oh Ji-yeong, as long as the lipstick looks fierce. 

BTW, DrivellerKate has a a fab image of her not being so immaculately lipsticked so head over to hers for the real goop on the show.

Oh, a review on the Innisfree Glossy LipLaquer: I actually think it is quite watery. It doesn't stay on as long as my last generations of liplaquer-ish products (see here [Gosh] & these [YSL]). But the colour is cute in an Autumn kind of way so it's a nice addition. 

I did love the webshop I bought it from: They've given me 3 freebies when I only got the lipgloss. I used to be such a fan of Korean webstore Gmarket but ordering from them could be such a hassle for one or two things. This webshop is less complicated.

I'll leave you with a fragment of the older My Sassy Girl to show you the bizarre/funny type of humour:

And have a fantastic sunday!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: Kahina Brightening Serum

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the 'black bottle trend' in organic skincare. I haven't been idle on using Kahina's [Giving Beauty] Brightening serum, and I happily will review this one.

One of the signs of ageing is not so far the start of wrinkles or perhaps a bit of vertical challenge (read: sagging) of your skin: often it's also uneven pigmentation. Popular Western skincare brands have overlooked this for some time but are starting to address this issue as well. Sidenote, the Asian beautymarket has been on the forefront of lightening/brightening and I've happily used those type of skincare in my early thirties to give me luminiscent and less pigmented skin.

So the organics, or the naturals? I believe nature should not be overlooked as one of the most potent 'mixer' of skincare potions. Often when older communities are found (with plenty of centenarians= 100 year olds), there has been some secret like eating plenty organic olive oil, or some fermented rice wine. Don't quote me on this but it's often not high-stressed lifestyle, L'Oreal and neither McDonalds food (it might be in a 100 years but that has to be proven yet) .

My personal 1st semi-organic lightener has been Jurlique Purely Bright Nightcream. Amazing long term effect! It basically wiped out caused by a sunny holiday & the notorious pigmentation due to Diana 35 anticonception pill. It has been infused with Liqorice and since then I believe in the *power of liquorice* for brightening skin.

Kahina Brightening Serum is infused with liquorice, and you can even smell a hint of it during application:
That brings me to the benefits:
  • brightening? Yes
I didn't have major issues with pigmentation as I had in 2012, but a bit of evening/brightening does help into looking younger. It has a slight effect but still visible IMO
  • Calming? That too
Kahina Brightening Serum does not market itself as being a calming serum but liquorice is known as being anti-inflamatory (read here & here). There's just a tiny hint of scent, from liquorice, and I actually find that more calming on my sensitive skin than the so-called bland neutral.
  • Easy Absorption
30 seconds and you can either layer on another serum (anti-ageing/anti-acne/ect) or go for your daycream. It's actually moisturizing enough to use as a thin moisturizer if your skin is normal to combination.
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced
     Ethically Amazing/Sustainably perfect
Just a tad of exaggeration but Kahina doesn't only replant an Argan tree by every sold bottle, but they're "giving back" to the Berber women in Morocco by providing them a positive working atmosphere etc etc (read their story here).

Ethically and sustainably sourced

Ethically and sustainably sourced
The negatives might be that it is quite expensive for £65.00: I got a bottle of their  full-sized Argan oil as a freebie on naturisimo so that got me into buying it in the first place (still works when you add KAHINA as the code). Also, it is just a brightener and a calming serum: some people like their serums to be total powerhouses and do everything-and-their-laundry.... I kinda believe in multitasking, but I like some focus as well: so I love a specific serum for one or two targets alone.

Kahina Brighening Serum shows that liquorice is not just candy but can give you a *sweet* brighter & more even complexion.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Leave Me In! Fast Conditioning with Aveda, Wunderbar, Unite & Less is More

Yesterday I watched an old episode of Sex and the City. The theme was about getting into the most desired restaurant, so the 'let me in' kinda got mixed up with the 'leave-[me]-in' conditioners: 

I'm not gonna talk about the hippy-hair-gone-normal-long story about mine, but maintainance has been easier: I'm often permitted to go 'fast-n-go' with a good leave in conditioner. I'm still about quality, and my stylist, recommendations of other bloggers, own curiosity has led me to these.
  1. Wunderbar Moisture Leave in Treatment: This brand is quite new. It smells chemically fresh but has a refreshing low amount of ingredients including poweroil Argan Oil:
     Aqua, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyquaternium-37, Quaternium-87, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Quaternium-80, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil,hydrolised Adansonia Digitata Extract, Propylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Edta, Dmdm Hydatoin, Carbomer, Fragance, Limonene, Lanalool, Geranol.
     Most of all, it's actually good and it doesn't irritate my scalp nor the skin of my face. Affordable! This travel sample is €1 for a reasonable 50 ml.
  2. Unite 7 Seconds is a typical blogger's recommendation (various here): I've noticed a lot of [bleached] blondes use it as their hair needs volume & oh-so-much care as well. The spray-formula is light and easy. It conditions well but it's not my favourite: this for being too chemical as my skin doesn't like it when it gets into contact with my hair.
  3. Less is More Lavendel Smooth Balm is not a listed Leave-in Conditioner but more of a pre-blowdry moisturizer. Meh, different-label-same-construction to me.
    Balmy, my hair absorbs it better than this flower
    It's lovingly balmy and shockful of good ingredients (more here). It smells like authentic lavendel: not everybody would be into this scent but I think it's soothing and reminds me of the South of France, nice.
  4. Aveda Damage Leave in Treatment is infused with Quinoa: really! I think it's the strongest and most conditioning one of the pack.
    It really functions as a deep-conditioning mask only in the leave-in form. I love it's Aveda-ish scent. On some days it can be too moisturizing so I actually use it like I would use a wash-out mask; every now and then for that extra boost.
Comparing ingredients:
 It is surprising how the naturals can have either a long list (Aveda) as a shorter list (Less is More). Aveda is actually not as natural as it claims to be (eg here & here) but they have been around for a longer time bringing quite good quality in a more natural way, so I give them credit for that. And how to resist power-superfood Quinoa in haircare?
I was already surprised Wunderbar has a short ingredients list and other chemical partner Unite has a longer one.

I really like all of them for specific reasons. Unite is the fastest on the go, but I still believe in combing through the liquid. The rest are to be rubbed in and are wonderful in protecting it from blowdry & other styling tools.

You absolutely do not need as many as I have but I've been sampling them by chance, curiosity and for different kind of needs. I'm glad to see the leave-ins gotten more sophisticated and effective throughout the years. They used to be a gooey 'residence-left-over' potion that couldn't really compare with the rinse-out's, but now they equal the effect you might need for your hair.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Cell-ing Out! How did my Vichy Cellu Destox Expert preform?

Another one from my Resolutions '14 list has been rolling around, or cell-ing out the fat-cells of my legs and other feminine curves. (see here)

 I'm sporadically on anti-cellulite potions: not because they work the wonders they claim to do, but just to get it a bit tighter and to speed up your post-workout circulation and it's detoxing flow.

Well, I just finished it after 3 months so I haven't been too consistent in using it. 

For honest reasons:
  1. no boycrush: call me a hypocrite but somehow the prospect of getting toned for someone else is a bit more motivating than for yer-own-mirror-reflexion. And other girls? Ack, we all know we have lumps-n-bumps so that's about it.
  2. No bikini-opportunity: Ok, that's the time I DO work out for other women as well, because there's always that bit of competition on the beach and I do not want to be the flabbiest one around in my teeny. As for men, they are often happy to see woman under a certain age in a bikini: so for the random guy being the voyeur, neither the effort worthy ;)
  3. For the blog/research: oh heck, you guys prefer to read about more exiting eyeshadows than yer-old-boring-cellulite-lotion, right?
Then again, I've been using it consistently for 2 weeks and I did have some results into getting bits a bit more toned.

1. the Roller-ball thingy
Yes, you can have your vigorous roller-action when you cannot be bothered working your hands around too much. Ehm, that sounds somewhat like another device too?
2. Effective Caffeine 5%
Perhaps not as potent as my previous 10% Llerac (here), but strong enough to get those fat-cells celling out a bit easier...aka detox a bit faster.

3. Extraterrestal Blobs:
Read the full story why...[ok, just kidding]

I really liked this anti-cellulite lotion: The rollerball effect helps to get a more effective massage that aids the formula, and feels kinda nice after you've been working out. I'm gonna repurchase if I'm not too curious for other anti-cellulite creams.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Alexis Smart Beauty Formula no. 8: a Post-Resolutions Update

Remember my delirious set of resolutions in '14? I thought it's time to give an update on these after the first 3 months have been 'resolution'-nised into 2014.

I just finished my Alexis Smart Beauty Potion no. 8: I blogged about it here.

Alexis Smart remedies are a type of Bach-remedies sort of drops that you can use according to your 'lack' or 'what's missing'. I intentionally placed these words into brackets as Flower Remedies do not believe too much into 'lacks' and 'negative', only into strenghtening the postive aspects of a person (read more in my previous article).

Now, did it work
Ok, the aspect of thinking of buying a 'beauty potion' and especially in the mystical sounding 'no 8' is that you might expect Beeaaauuutttyyy. Never mind my sarcasm because as a beautyblogger I won't strive for unpretty-ness, but I'm not one to be in the Oscar Wilde type-of-thinking that "beauty for beauty's sake" is enough.

Neither is the standpoint of this formula, as it focusses on inner-beauty and relaxation, that will help your outer features be more of "your radiant self".

In that aspect: It worked! 

I've been using the drops religiously every 4 times a day for a month, and felt more relaxed after that month. 

I had lapsed into a certain beauty-obession before the formula. For example: working out! I frequently went to a High Intensity Training to trim away my *hardly there* cellulite and I wasn't having that much fun with it anymore. Moreover, I didn't loose any fatty tissue, I started to gain again!
Not so unlogical as the H.I.T training made me really tired so afterwards I sank into the couch with food and didn't come out for a while.

Then it figured: I used to have a better body when I did my Zumba classes: they are not so high intensity, but I had heaps of energy and a zest for life afterwards. I wouldn't sink into the couch but had energy to walk frequently, cycle, etc. Basically, a lower intensity training but still with tons of fun has a better result on my body and food patterns.

This is just a body example but I have had a similar epiphany with my superfoods: I blended every powder, think spirulina, wheatgrass, barley, MSM, Acai, Baobab into my morning smoothie. Then at 10 am I felt I missed something nice tasting so I drank lots of sugary coffee. 


I'm still not completely there of being obsessed: see my last hairstory-trauma.

Funnily, because I'm less obessed I will not repurchase an expensive bottle of drops. I do love her fomulas and am on another one I might blog about it soon.  She recommends taking one formula at the time and that one is a bit more important right now. See, it works!

Monday, 31 March 2014

March Empties...

A bit early but I won't be emptying anything cosmetic tonight. So before you think it's a joke (tomorrow) I'll post it now:

Photo upwards is empty no 1: a delicious home candle from L'Occitane in Amber. L'Occitane got a head-up from a reknown perfume blogger as one of the affordable but high quality perfume candle. Ambre is indeed quite pure and it is intensely sensual. It only is about € 15 and will keep the room fragantly delicious for 20 hrs or more.

Kneipp has a new bathoil with Argan oil, Marula and olive oils and I was curious about it's "Beauty Secret". I'm not too fond of it because of the fragance.
Tisserand Massage oil works as a bodyoil and even in the bath. The Energy blend is zesty and fresh and the oils do not take too long to penetrate.
The Fushi Really Good Sports Oil was a gwp and it's nice, but I will not repurchase as Kneipp has a similar range with arnica that might even cure muscles a bit quicker.
De Tuinen Macademia Oil has been a hairoil: I love oils for hair and Macademia is a fatty one that has excellent moisturizing properties.

I've blogged about Cane + Austin over here and I loved the easiness of the pads. I repurchased the travel pack, wrapped individually, for travelling. For home peeling I restarted Omorovzica Copper peel again: Mixing up various peels stops the skin from being lazy and I still want to finish that set too. 
Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm was still a part of the sensitive skin set. I brought it over on a sunny holiday as an after sun treatment and it's truly efficient and balmy. Which on a sidenote, it can be too balmy for daily morning use as it stays slightly sticky on the skin.
Nourish Kale Revital-Eye Kale Biomimetic Anti-Ageing Eye Cream made it to my "Best of 2013"-list and I'm already on a new bottle.
Kris d'Amour is a line of wonderful organic skincare and so generous with samples. The Rejuvenation Face oil has been a generous supply of 7 days: I wish my skin wasn't as sensible at the time being so I could see the results a bit better. I believe it's quite potent.
Trilogy Ageproof Smoother has been a sort-of primer product for my skin. I should have put it into creases/beginning wrinkles etc only but I loved it over some larger pores as well. Good primer ability without feeling silicony & not irritating either.

Essence is one of my nail Drugstore favourite for being cheap and effective. The Fast Cuticle Remover really is on par with Creative Nail Designs (CND) or Sally Hanson cuticle remover within a fraction of the price.
Viviscal Extra Strenght, the classic! My hair is healthy now (thanks to superfoods) but some faster growth would be nice. I finished month 1: I'll see in month 3 if it worked.
I blogged about Esprique Eyebrow (Adambeauty calls it  'Eyeblow' -> ???)  over here. I like it and somehow I start to prefer a brow-pot or pencil as those show up more. Must be the Cara D effect.
Silk Natural Finishing Powder in Date Bait is a true unsung hero in my collection. Gah, I should blog about it!!! It's the reason why I ignored NARS light reflecting pressed setting powder as that one is so unsubtle (read: sparkly) next to this formula. It's photoshop soft light filter in a jar! Ok, I still have 'Love Lure" so I'll review that version asap.

Now here's a long story again. Such trauma and relived trauma. But thanks to this B4 Colour hair Colour removal mixture I was able to live through muddy colour a bit shorter than I was about 14 years ago. Shortly: I went to the hairdresser wanting this (bit more polished and blended):

And ended up with this kind of colour:

Being 150 euros poorer.

First, I cannot figure why she gave me a muddy dark colour in the first place: I showed her the image of the "blonde in LBD" above to her place and told her that I wanted something similar. I was already quite blonde but I wanted more light on the bottom and some darkness at the top: like about 99% of all actesses and models have these days, not forgetting the fashionbloggers. No biggie, right? Well, Miss Superfriendly Organic Hairdresser turned into something Miss Evil-paint and totally messed up my nice previous colour. I complained, and then she did some dreadful, chunky highlights that looked like slutty-ville. OMG, I ran away before she could harm my hair some more (after being there for 5 hours already).

At home I've been washing with this B4 and it does remove a lot of colour. Pjew! Now the woman has muddy coloured me and did some weird blue toner afterwards so I still have to un-colour for a next round, but I have to give my hair a break first...Poor hairs! Good I have been on Viviscal for a month.

I really want to give her a negative rating on the review site but am not sure if I should do that: should I warn some other women too? I do not want to ruin her business but this has been most inconsiderate after me being so clear about what I wanted in the 1st place!

So that's about it for the month of March: I hope April won't be too traumatic beauty-wise, at least I'll stay away from "recommended" colourists for a while.