Sunday, 31 January 2016

Three Wonderlust Wave Cheeky Chic Blush in 5 Feeling the Flow

I got myself a new blushie!

Oh, it had been a while since I had gone cheeky and I had kept it fairly affordable. Since I've been hearing such raves about Three Cosmetics, I was absolutely all about trying out their newest range: Cheeky Chic blush:

I went for their darkest colours in the most pretty wine-infused rose colour: 05 Feeling the Flow.

For their spring line they picked a Wanderlust Wave theme and they had this refreshingly Cool girl theme. 

The semi-spiritual names of the blushes are a bit see-through, but I still loved it enough to cave in my first Three blush buy! 

Three Cosmetics has a minimalistic approach to their packaging:

It is probably the antidote of Jill Stuart princesy and shimmery exterior. But it is also a bit bleak compared to other minimalist Addiction by Kose. Addiction has a microflecked black case and looks slightly more glam.
So yeh, I was slightly underwhelmed by the dark grey plastic case. But I was more curious about Three's inside so let's go on.

At first glance, it looks like a matte burnished deep rose that could also been mistaken as a light wine colour:

When looking closer, you can see tiny microshimmers in the pan:

So now it was the brush-test. How would the pigment 'grab' on the brush?

 I used a Rae Morris Mini Kabuki: it is not the softest out there (thinking Chikuhodo Z series) but it is also not your scratchy brush. I just wanted the pigment to behave with a mid-quality type of brush instead of 'being spoiled' with the best one out there.

I had to swirl around a couple of times to get even pigmentation on the brush. I first thought it would be my technique. And, perhaps visible, it lacks some blush at some spots.

Swatches (post-holiday skin and yes, I tanned a bit so it's probably NC 35):

Top: 1 application |  bottom: 2 applications

First, I love the colour and how it looks on NC 35 skin. I recon it would look fab on lighter skins, giving it a snow-white or icy wind effect.

The microshimmer is just right from keeping the blush fall too flat. It is still, in my opinion, more of a matte blush.

I am underwhelmed by the way it blended on my skin. I tried it with makeup under it first, but I could not seem to blend in well. I am spoiled with Surratt Artistique blush (see here) and some other fab high and mid-end versions, but hey! 

I'm supposed to buy one of the top-league blushes out there (review here, here & here). Which makes me wonder, this is a new formula: did it change from the older Color Veils one?

Perhaps I gotten a dud, however, I'm not sure how the people who raved about their earlier Color Veils are going to feel about this. I never tried the old one so I cannot compare.

In general, I still love how this colour is different from the rest of my blush-wardrobe. It is a perfect shade if you want your cheeks to pop a bit more and I am all about cooler hues these days. It does take some work to blend and that is not the type of work I expect from that pricerange. 

So as I said, underwhelmed...

Sunday, 3 January 2016

The 2016 Resolutions edition: #BUDGETIZE (somewhat) with Phyto Phytokeratine Extreme Mask

Resolutions often have something to do with #budgetizing or spending less on luxury goods. 

 Oh, and so we like love the little me time when you can pamper with gorgeously scented products that make you glow like nothing else? I mean, there is often the new diet or that epic new workout schedule: can't we get some pampering as a reward?

I found this little new hairgem that not only peforms at that ridiculously Philip B Russian Amber Conditioning cream; it even smells like it!

Phyto Phytokeratine Extreme has been an upgrade or a version on speed from their already well-performing Phytokeratine line. And lets add the wonderful golden packaging...

 -the outside-

When opening the can, there is a pastlike substance that looks like a golden yellow. This is similar as the Philip B. one.

The formula of the mask is quite past-like. Thicker masks are often more concentrated, and they are handy for handluggage air travel.

-the inside-
 I have been so generous to highlight the ingredients that I find beneficial to hair-care.

Phyto Phytokeratine Extreme Mask ingredients:
Formule INCI:  paeonia officinalis flower extract (Peony flower), cetearyl alcohol (derived from coconut oil), isodecyl neopentanoate, dicetyldimonium chloride (dérivé de colza), stearyl alcohol (dérivé d'huile de coco), isodecyl, neopentanoate, dicetyldimonium chloride, aqua, pouteria sapota seed butter (beurre de sapotier), sipalmitoylhetyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate, mauritia flexuosa fruit ouil (buriti oil), isopropyl alcohol, ceteareth-33 (dérivé d'huile de coco), glyceryl stearate, parfum, ceteareth-20 (dérivé d'huile de coco), polyquaternium-10 (dérivé de celullose de bois), ricinomidopropyltrimonium methosulfate, adansonia digitata seed oil (baobab oil), panthenol (provitamine B5), hydrolyzed corn protein, hydrolyzed wheat protein (proteines from corn, soja, wheat), tocopherol, phenoxyethanol, citric acid, caprylyl glycol, tetrasodium edta, maltodextrine (pomme de terre), CI 75470/carmine, methylchloroisothiazoline, methylisothiazolinone.

Peony flower extract is also a prime ingredient in Klorane Peony Shampoo and is claimed to have anti-irritant, soothing and anti-radical properties. It is also often used in Chinese medicine. 
Sapote Butter has high lipid replenishing power and is infused with 2 times more omega 6 extract than shea butter.
I really like the pure version of buriti and baobab oil and I have used them for hair.
The hydrolized wheat proteins (glutenfree people beware) is claimed to "biomimetic properties that replicate natural keratin" so "it works very precisely to fill in the gaps and rebuild the initial architecture of hair".

Philip B. Russian Amber Conditioning Creme Ingredients: 
 Water/Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol, Fragrance/Parfum, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Benzyl Benzoate, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Sodium Lactate, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, PCA, Ethylhexylglycerin, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Glycine, Alanine, Myristic Acid, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Phytantriol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Polysorbate 20, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract/Chamomilla Recutita, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract/Rosmarinus Officinalis, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract/Salvia Officinalis, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract/Urtica Dioica, Styrax Benzoin Resin Oil, Benzaldehyde, Cinnamic Acid, Coniferyl Benzoate, Vanillin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil/Vitis Vinifera, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Coumarin, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Citronellol, Caramel, Bismuth Oxychloride/CI 77163, Yellow 5 /CI 19140

Philip B has a concoction of more expensive ingredients. Funnily, I could not find amber oil in this list, but that might be my lack of latin plantnames.

I find that Phyto Phytokeratine Extreme has more natural ingredients and the chemicals are limited to the ones that can be derived from plants. I also love the addition of soothing Peony flower extract. True, you will seldom use a conditioning mask close to the scalp as it weights down hair too much, but I really loved it in the shampoo version of Phytokeratine Extreme. 

Phyto Phytokeratine Extreme mask retails for €35.90 for 200ml over here. Philip B Russian Amber conditioning cream retails for a whopping $150 for 178 ml.


 I have been using the sample mask recently, but it really is a heavy duty performer. I love it on my dryer strands and it does feel silky, smooth, shiny and well-conditioned afterwards. For healthy stands I find it a bit too heavy: the hairs around my face felt limp for being oversaturised.
I cannot tell too much about the long-term results but I am happy to have found a rather natural alternative on adding keratine to my hair. I still depend on my pricey Alterna Fill & Fix mask for my protein fix, but that is an additional step in restoring my hair. Overal,  Phytokeratine Extreme Mask is a well-scented alternative and feels a lot like Philip B Creme conditioner.

Hence, for budgetizing on beauty there are a variety of options to find a good alternative for your (over)pricey treat.

Friday, 1 January 2016

The 2016 Resolutions edition: #WILLPOWER with Alexis Vogel Ganesh

Best wishes from Birkinbagbeauty

So now we had the celebration, now it is time to get into #resolution action.

 I first want to share something that could be seen as holistic. My Alexis Smart Ganesh formula:

People who read my blog know that I can be quite sceptical about products. However, I have had several of Alexis Smart formulas for different types of emotional states, and I believe they help... (see here & here).

In September last year I started a new study. Age-wise, I am not the most typical student so I had to overcome quite some things. On the other hand, staying at the same place in my life would not have been a good option either. I had been struggeling with so much sadness and a dash of failure before, that I really wanted to achieve something new...especially with my brains.

Things were not easy, starting...But after taking Alexis Smart WholeHearted I could cope with some sadness issues of mine. Afterwards, I felt my mind was ready to accomplish new things and to achieve my goals.

Enter: Ganesh
 I have been taking the drops for over a month, and I am mid-bottle now. In that time, I have been able to write four hefty essays of a high academic level in one week. (Yeh, blame our professors for giving the students such short notice...). In September, I could hardly write one Essay of 1000 words in two weeks, and in December I was able to write four.

Ofcourse, getting accustomed to University is not merely based on flower remedies. However, I feel that these drops give me a better hold of how to achieve my goals without letting my doubts get in the way. Ofcourse, doubts have a healthy element, as long as they are reasonable and able to negotiate upon.

Alexis Smart has various formulas based on Focus. On her website she has a guide of how to pick the best one for you. Otherwise, you can email her for a more personal advise.

The good thing is that Selfridges in Europe is selling them too. They have free shipping from £50 right now (normally £15) so that might be interesting for picking up some other goodies like this Suqqu Christmas set (on sale)
But I guess shopping more was not on your #resolution list?

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Last minute Empties B4 2015 is over and done with...(part II)

Same bag, different Empties from yesterday:

And my apologies for letting my used-ups on a wrinkled French Terry beach cloth...I just miss my little summertime experience at the Côte d'Azur where I bought this towel. I thought it looked more authentic if they'd be 'sunbathing' on a unperfect cloth than a neat one ;). Or, is it almost time for Champagne???

I could only call this batch Random:

  • Scharzkopf Oil Miracle Barbary Fig Oil Mask: A pasty mask that smells like a chemical fruit. It conditions but it coats my hair too much: too chemical.
  • Syoss Super Defense Color Exilir Hairserum: I still has this chemical serum in my closet. I haven't used it up because I feel it does not add anything beneficial to my hair.
  • Alexis Smart Wholehearted formula: I felt down this autumn. Wholehearted somehow felt like giving me a bit of emotional hold on things you cannot always control. Love!
  • (obscured) Tatcha cleansing oil- travel size: I don't use oil cleansers that often as I do not wear heavy makeup oftenly. But if my skin needs more cleansing action, it is quite lovely.
  • (also sunblinded) Green People Age Defy+ Line Eraser Lip & Eye Serum: This serum is liquidly and slightly green tinged. It is packed with all types of organic powerhouse anti-aging ingredients and it's perfectly thin for summertime eyecare.
  • Horsetail Tinctum drops from This is supposed to grow your hair if taken internally, or add it to your shampoo. I could not tell it really worked when using it. 
  • Akoma Acai Berry Oil: Sometimes I prefer a single or a DIY-mix of oils that get a good rating (or that I loved in a retailer concoction brand). Acai Oil is claimed to have strong antioxidant properties and I really loved this single oil as it was thin, easily absorbant, and I woke up with good skin. REPURCHASE.
  • Deciem Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex: had a 3=2 deal and this was my 3rd to accompany my Fountain supplements. I like it, but it smells so darn chemical that I prefer a handcream like Neom over it.
  • Osmia Spot Treatment: It contains anti-acne powerhouse Cajeput, also in Odacite's anti pimple blend. I like it, but my spots still take a while to dissapear. I bought some pure Cajeput oil for occasional spots but I think I'll repurchase this blend as it is affordable and rollerhandy.
  •  Fountain liquid supplements in The Beauty Monecule and the Happy Monecule: Deciem's liquid formulas are based on Hyaluronic acid, and these are fab skinplumpers. The additives for beauty is Resveratrol aand for happy it's GABA carrot complex. My skin has been plumping up since using these babies. They are pricy but they work better than pill-form Hyaluronic acid.
  • Liberty Handwash with Chamomille & Lavendel: Soooo lovely, it smells like the real chamomile/lavendel and it cleanses gently & effective.
  • Lotus Wei Infinitive Love Spray: It functions as a fraganced water that should make you more open and loving to other people, and yourself. Honestly, I loved the fresh rose fragance, but when I was moody I sure did not feel it helped me. 
  • Revitalash Eyegrowth Serum: I get longer lashes when I use them. When I stop, my lashes get shorter. I do not stop (yet)...
  • Sunwarrior Immune Shild with Natural Fulvic Acid: Initially, I bought it as an affordable alternative to Phylia [de M] $$$ version. It should aid hairgrowth, and this one claims it wards off diseases like flu. I have not have a cold/flu and I have been commuting in trains this autumn with a lot of snotty/coughing people. Bonus.
  • Cod Liver Omega 3 Oil: First Krill was the best Omega oil ever, now it is Cod liver oil. Oh well, this one is easier to find and I think it keeps my skin/bones more supple.
  • My other 2 Fountain Monecules in The Geek Monecule & Energy: I have been studying since fall and my brain gotten sharper after using up the bottle. That could be the placebo effect or just training the brain, but who knows? Energy contains B12 and a liquid formula works more effective than a pill-form.
  • AS.AP #6 (Coffee + Orange): This is a lovely organic lipbalm that hydrates lips without making it dependant on its contents (like chemicals can). I like it.
  • Eve Lom Mineral Powder Foundation in 3 Buff: This formula is gorgeous, though it needs a primer on the parts where pores are slightly large. 3 Buff was a bit too warm for me, colourwise, but 4 Petal finally hits the cooler skintone spot! So already repurchased in 4.
  • Maybeline Lash Sensational Waterproof: Oh my, I'm such a mascara snob but this drugstore one won me over. Perfect for swimming too. Repurchased.
  • L'oreal Nude Magique Eau de Teint: I threw away a full bottle because it smells like chemical bonzanza. My skin is not happy afterwards either. Similar for the Kiki 3D Lifting foundation.
  • Lumiere Pearlfection powder sand: This is a pretty perfect afterpowder to make pores smaller and skin delightfully luminous. Ohh, such a shame this company closed in 2014...
That has been an ample list of used ups. I have found some new favourites, kept faithful to my trusted ones, and started to abandon the ones that do not work for me...

So for me to wish you guys a....

Fantastic NYE party and a delightful 2016!!!!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Last minute Empties B4 2015 is over and done with...(part I)

Ohhh. look at the Used-up bag...It's totally full!

Ok, these are actually from the last two months, but fact is...that's a lot. And I feel slightly ashamed for not having reviewed anything in a full post yet. So that will be an after-idea but first I'll post the shorter reviews...

1st batch: Skincare & Co

  • Sunday Riley Good Genes: I personally found this exfoliating treatment too strong for my sensitive skin. I used it for hands, and they gotten better texture. However, that's a bit too expensive for hands for repurchase.
  • Acorelle Skin Gel Sunblock SPF 30: This oil-in-gel felt too greasy on my skin.
  • Olivine Love + Roses Tonic: I really liked the freshness of this product and the fact it is made from organically grown roses. The glass bottle will be reused to decant other toners.
  • Grown Alchemist Antioxidant+3 Detox Serum: I was looking for a detoxing serum. It feels like a Essence, very watery. I think it helps a bit: the harder work is detoxing from the inside...
  • Arcona Chamomile Balm: Soooo REPURCHASE for wintertimes. This is a sensitive skin staple that I import from and often have to pay duties...still worth it.
-bottom part-
  • Skin & Blossom Age Resist Daycream: This is a gorgeously neutral, organic daycream that is packed with good pro-youth ingredients. It needs a full review. Already Repurchased.
  • Aurelia Revitalise and Glow Serum: This baby has passed on my blog frequently (see here). Another Winter/seasonal change product I keep on repurchasing.
  • Tarte Maracula Oil: I like the light but nourishing feel of this oil. Does it have to be from Tarte? Meh, I like other brands as well but the freebie has been wonderful.
  • Tatcha Soothing Indigo Renewing Treatment: STAPLE for my problematic skin. It soothes upcoming psoriasis spots like no other and it costs me a fortune but worth it.
Next batch of skincare:
  •  Algenist Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser: Nice and foamy. Not the most advanced or organic but it does the job and is soft.
  • Sanoflore Floral Water in Camomile & Cornflower: The Camille is so soft and retexturizes skin so gently...Just got my new French repurchase today! The Cornflower water is ideal for post-cleaning the oil & water mascara removing products-that-always-leave-this-filter-on.
  • La Roche Posay Serozinc: Everyone seems to love this one and me too. Repurchase.
  • The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof eye makeup remover: Lovely. I think Yves Rocher or cheaper brands do a similar job. On the other hand, it feels absolutely like a breeze on my eyes and I do not need to use Cornflower water to soothe afterwards. Repurchase. 

Random Hair & Body Batch

  • Elancyl Cellu-slim Nuit (night): I would not be Birkinbagbeauty if I did not test out the occasional anti-cellulite lotion. It's fine but I prefer a tube formula over a pot as active ingredients do not vaporize so quickly.
  • Phylia [de M] Connect: another frequent flyer on my blog (here). My love is cooling down as I do not see that much results anymore. Oversaturated maybe?
  • Lush Marilyn: I sound like a broken record but I often use this one to both moisturize and freshen my blondes in a natural, non-chemical way.
  • Shwarzkopf Blond Me Cool Ice Anti-Yellow-Effect Spray Conditioner: Ohhh, I cannot believe I reviewed it yet. It is the ideal holiday swim anti-brassy easy toner spray. 
  • Mediceuticals x-folate anti dandruff shampoo: Well, it does a bit of exfoliating but once going organic shampoo, you will find the chemicals still affecting your scalp negatively.
Tomorrow I'll post the remaining Empties. Probably nobody will read it as everyone is too busy, but perhaps on your booze-fueled, hangover 1 January as some distraction for yer poor head ;)

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Holidays...

Hi all, 

I hope you get a fabulous Christmas....
I really miss blogging so I hope to return asap.


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?