Multi-masking: new trend or a gimmick?

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Multi-masking is a “thing”. But is there something behind this trend that makes it note-worthy, or is it just a goofy way of follow the groove?

To me, it’s one of the few trends that actually make sense. Using different skincare products on different parts of your face simply works towards an amazing skincare routine, and this method always performed best for me. But if using three-four different face moisturisers, oils or serums might seem a little too extensive (even though I am convinced we are slowly but surely moving that direction), when applied to face masks, this “rule” suddenly makes much more sense. Especially considering that the process of mask application itself is an “activity” you perform on a weekly – not daily – basis, which always takes a bit of time off your other activities, but you dedicate it purposefully.

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The principle is simple: since the majority of population (disregarding different skin types) has pretty diverse skincare needs on different parts of the face, applying various masks at the same time is a trick how to treat your skin with the maximum respect it deserves. Whereas a t-zone is usually of an oilier nature, cheeks are typically much drier, and an under eye area – extremely sensitive. In this case, you’d need to combat the oilier T-zone with a thicker cleansing mask with unclogging properties, usually based on charcoal, minerals or clay ingredients, occasionally even mud. For the contours of your face you’d like to use a treatment for extreme hydration, and apply an eye mask under your eyes – thankfully, there are more and more of those available. A cherry on top might be a lip mask or an overnight mask, which – in my honest opinion – play a role of an extra pampering, special something you treat yourself with from time to time.

My modest selection for this blog consists of five masks (talk about excessive, right?).

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The most efficient one (and the most significant one for my skin needs) is the Warming Mineral Mask from The Body Shop. Not coincidentally, it is also my favourite of the bunch, which I am really missing badly every time I skip a week without it. My T-zone definitely needs some deep cleanse, and clay is an excellent ingredient when it comes to extracting clogged pores and purifying the skin. What’s more, as is clear from its name, this mask has warming properties – perfect for long winter evenings… 🙂 Jokes aside, the warming effect expands your pores and basically provides you with a “sauna” or “hot shower” effect – a.k.a. deeper and more thorough cleanse. What’s more, I like to sense that a mask is doing something – be it stinging or warming feeling on my skin. That is how I feel that the magic is “happening”. I am also a huge believer in kaolin clay, and being the main ingredient of this mask, it will set your pores free. The Body Shop offers a high variety of excellent and affordable products that really work, so look no further!

Next one is a one-use mask from Alverde. Products from this German brand of organic cosmetics are usually hit or miss for me. Their masks, however, have been consistently surprising me positively. Hydration mask with shea butter and rose extracts is targeting sensitive skin. Just like in case of clay for cleansing, shea butter is a no-brainer ingredient for combating dryness. Should I even start on the rose scent? I apply this mask on the contours of my face and cheek area, and with a clay The Body Shop mask applied on my forehead, nose and chin I truly feel like as if I’m in a Hammam. The only thing missing is relaxing music and an eye mask.

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For this, Sephora may serve you well, since they recently expanded the sheet masks range with masks for eye lids and lips. I tried a couple of their eye masks, and cannot recommend them enough: quality-price wise it’s a win-win situation. This time, however, I went further and tried an eye mask from the Teaology brand. Well, you know how I feel about teas – and when I saw a line that promotes itself as “tea infusion skincare”, I couldn’t really avoid investing into it. This skincare brand is not the cheapest, but the White Tea Miracle Eye Mask is rather affordable, and I cannot deny the word “miracle” in its name played a significant role in my final decision. Perfect hydration for under eye area, also works for tired eyelids – or for those moments when you simply feel like closing your eyes and leaving all the worries behind…

Sephora has, however, made it into my collection with its Shea Butter lip mask (you see the pattern here, don’t you?). This mask is a true savioru for those of us with chapped and dry lips – it offers an extra portion of hydration, protects, repairs and smells incredibly! 🙂

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Now, after spending good fifteen minutes with our eyes and lips shut, it’s time to remove the sheet masks and gently wash off face masks – I like doing it with a muslin cloth, but water might suffice. If I feel extra dry (especially after long flights or when my water regime was not ideal) I would go for a “heavy duty” player – an overnight mask. Clinique offers a great one in its Moisture Surge range, but lately I’ve been using the overnight Emergency Hydration Oligo-Thermal Treatment from Biotherm. Somehow the word “emergency” in the name made me feel safe and secure, like I am leaving my skin in good “hands”. Indeed, the mask is perfect for this extra boost of hydration: just apply a thin layer in the evening and you’ll wake up with skin more radiant and plump than when you went to bed. If this doesn’t sound like a dream, what does?

 

 

And what about you? Have you already tried this “multi-masking” trend? If so, which masks are your favourite to use and combine? If not, what masks do you usually go for – are you seeking hydration, cleansing properties or energizing effect? Would love to hear your feedback and tips!

x

 

“Strike the senses” with Lipton’s Surprising Russian Grey

It has been a couple of weeks since I published my last tea review: life has got busy recently, and as for me, I was stuck in my tea rut for a while. But as it is the highest time to renew the wardrobe and switch into spring fashion, I feel like it is also the highest time to update my tea “wardrobe” and let some new flavours into my routine.

Being a huge fan of earl greys, I am a little surprised I still haven’t dedicated an article to this majestic sort of tea. The history of earl greys goes back to the 19th century, and rumour has it that that the first blend of the tea was a gift from the Chinese mandarin to the Earl (named Grey) back in 1803. The controversy around this legend lies in the fact that the use of bergamot essential oils that are characteristic for earl greys was then unknown in China and, hence, most probably the very blend was created in Britain. This way or another, the tea discovery named after the famous Earl Charles Grey has since become even more popular in the UK and spread all over the world, conquering more tea lovers.

Earl grey is a well-known fella’, but what about Russian Earl Grey? This variation only started to develop quite recently: many orthodox tea fans articulated strongly against it, whereas others welcomed it with an open mind. Russian Grey is considered a milder version of the famous earl grey blend, and I definitely felt drawn to shaking things up quite a bit.

What is different in Russian Grey? First of all, it is bergamot that gets replaced by (or added to) lemon peel and lemongrass – the ingredients less exotic and more familiar to the continental Eurasian climate. Brands like Twinnings or Lipton were pioneers on this market, and possibly the most affordable and easy to find picks.

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I went for Surprising Russian Grey from Lipton and now am ready to reveal all the “surprises” it harbours.

Packaging: is gorgeous! I mean, I am not a packaging victim, not at all, whatsoever (is it convincing enough?). The embossed writing, beautiful design in shades of turquoise and yellow, plus a pattern of Kremlin on the front of the box – I feel like nominating this tea for a design competition. As typical for Lipton, it comes in 20 pyramidal tea bags.

Ingredients: Black tea, aroma.

Scent: rich, intense and enchanting. A little fruitier than your standard earl grey tea, I dare to say.

Taste: just as with the scent, the flavour is a little fruitier and more refreshing than your typical earl grey tea. Lipton suggests it is “bold & vibrant” with a sharp lemon twist. Perhaps it is this “sharpness” that makes it “surprising”?.. Another claim of the marketing “brains” of the Lipton brand is “the empowering taste”. Not sure if it’s something connected with Russian empowerment that they attempted to suggest here? 🙂

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Serving: According to the instructions, I would recommend to steep a tea bag in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Since earl greys tend to get a little too intense, which is not everyone’s cup of tea (hehe), it might be a good idea to get rid of a tea bag after the first minute of brewing. It’s what I like doing anyways. Some add milk, but I like it as is, in its purity!

Overall experience: empowerment and boldness aside, I am a huge fan of this tea. As an earl greys lovers, I was eager to try something similar with a hint of difference – and Surprising Russian Grey served perfectly to this purpose. I loved how distinct and intensive it was, and truly looked forward to drinking it every morning. I like it as my morning tea (I even abandoned my trusty greens for a while), because it is a perfect day-starter.

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“Sharpen up!” – shouts the packaging of Lipton’s Surprising Russian Grey at you. “Brew more power?”, it questions when you reach the very bottom. This tea is not only an unusual experience for your taste buds, but also plenty of fun to drink. I went through the box pretty quickly, which is always a good sign: it was simply my “go-to” morning tea for the whole month of March. For all earl grey fans, and not only them – this tea is a good reminder that classic is great, however it needs to be shaken up from time to time.

And what about you? Are you a fan of earl grey? Ever tried Russian grey, or some other earl grey variation (I believe, there are plenty)? How do you like your earl grey – with milk/sugar or pure?

My Swimming Pool Beauty Essentials

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Do you like swimming as much as I do? If your response is “yes”, then there’s a high probability we could become good friends, because swimming makes me happy, cheery, bursting with energy and excited. Swimming pool has taken its staple place in my fitness routine, and for years now I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my weekend plans, even though there might be thousand more seemingly exciting things to do.

Swimming pool necessities that consist of a swimming suit, a fresh towel, and voluntarily a pair of goggles plus a swimming cap, are pretty obvious and self-explanatory content of my bag. But what about oh so needed beauty products that should accompany you on the swimming adventure?  I always pack minis of my favourite products, so I can be compact and at the same time enjoy the goodies my skin- and hair- routine consists of.

I like using Aussie‘s haircare products to thoroughly cleanse my hair and nourish it appropriately. Miracle Moist range works wonders for dryer hair, especially after being exposed to stress in the form of chlorinated water (that even the swimming cap cannot fully protect from). The thick and silky consistency of this shampoo is targeting mainly damaged and “a bit unhappy” hair, which makes it perfect to tame your mane after the swimming rage. According to Aussie, the shampoo “infuses moisture into hair helping to condition and smooth”. No wonder: macadamia nut oil, the products of the Miracle Moist range are enriched with, definitely has smoothing and deep nourishing properties.

Next step is a cult product of the Aussie brand – 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor. This truly miraculous hair conditioner (or rather mask, taking its consistency into consideration) has definitely not received all this hype for no reason. For most of the time it is a little bit too thick and nourishing for my rather fine hair – therefore, I only like using it once a week (or even two weeks), for a deep moisture effect. The Australian Balm Mint extract is an “ingredient star” of the 3 Minute Miracle: according to Aussie it ‘helps to restore manageability and adds shine’. Hair is properly nourished and silky smooth after usage.

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The most recent “member” of my swimming pool bag is a true beauty from Lush – the mini size of the Rose Jam Shower Gel. Whatever everyone is saying about this product, it’s all true! Gorgeous scent, wonderful silky consistency and moisturising properties – it all helps me to turn the swimming pool showers into my little personal spa. 🙂

Last step in the shower is a face wash. As important it is for me to nourish my skin properly before diving into the chlorinated water, as important it is to wash the layer of chlorinated water straight after the swim. I fell in love with this mini size of Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Foaming Cleanser that I received with my purchase. I never looked toward Estee Lauder in regard with skincare, but after this discovery I believe I will need to start learning more about it. The cleanser is gentle, yet not eagerly foamy (which is unnecessary for cleansers anyway): I love the feeling of a deeply cleansed face I have after using it, and you literally need the tiniest amount to get the job done.

Moving to my “apres-shower” routine: I first moisturise my dry after chlorinated water skin. I like using heavy-duty nourishing products, such as body butters or body creams with potent ingredients. My current saviour is an affordable body lotion from Balea with 5% of Urea that is – again – targeting very dry skin (you see the pattern here, don’t you?). Super cheap and so nourishing – you cannot really go wrong with it.

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On another side of the price range is a deodorant from Lancome, a product purchased at a Duty Free once upon a time, but left untouched for a while. In mornings I usually don’t feel like too much fuss, hence this cream deodorant that needs to be applied in a little “old school” manner by spreading the cream with your finger, was transferred to my swimming pool essentials. Gentle Smooth Deodorant Cream Bocage doesn’t have any particularly strong scent (apart from this a little old-schoolish hint), but the protection it provides with is more than acceptable.

It’s time to moisturise my face now: I like doing it with the honey nourishing cream from Sanoflore Miel Nourricier. You won’t be surprised to hear that it’s another favourite of mine: very light in texture, it is dedicated for sensitive skin and provides me with an appropriate dose of hydration. Sanoflore is one of my favourite brands of all time, I haven’t been disappointed with any of their products.

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The last (voluntary) step in my routine depends on the weather outside. If it’s not freezing cold or wintery windy, I like to dry my hair just a bit, but then leave it dry naturally. In these cases, I’ll apply a bit of a salt spray into hair for extra texture and to accentuate the waves. This product is again from Aussie, but in contrast to my excitement with their haircare goodies, I wasn’t a fan of hairstyling. In particular, this Miracle Beach Waves spray is very strongly (and what’s more, unpleasantly!) fragranced, quite sticky and gives a crunchy end result. I believe, it’s not what you want to achieve, is it? I really loved my Lee Stafford salt spray that was also more exact regarding the dosage: 20 pumps were usually enough for a slight beachy look. With this one though I feel like spraying 40 pumps might not suffice. Recommended for advanced users only 🙂 Even though I believe those will prefer a better product.

What are your beauty essentials you like to keep in your sports bag? Or take along to a gym or swimming pool? Let me know!

x

 

 

 

 

My Caffeine-Free Tea Collection + How I Store My Tea

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might already know that I am a huge fan of black and green tea blends, which pretty much sum up my daily consumption. In the last blogpost I went above and beyond and introduced my favourite herbal infusion that I like to diversify my tea drinking routine with from time to time.

Here, I’d like to present my current caffeine-free tea selection that I keep in my drawers for days when I don’t feel like caffeine (hardly ever 🙂 ).

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First things first, I got rid of the bulky paper packaging and stored the selection in the aluminium tin (purchased at Tchibo). It helps to keep the teas I usually don’t go for on my mind and all in one place. The tin itself has 6 compartments for approximately 15 tea bags each, hence it makes for handy storage for a variety.

The first tea to be found in my aluminium box is the Spring tea (Frühlings Tee) from Alnatura. Since I dedicated my last blogpost to it, I won’t get much into detail here. Maybe it’s worth mentioning that currently it is one of my favourite herbal infusions, and possibly the best one for when the days get warmer.

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Next stop, is a tea from Korres, a Greek brand of organic cosmetics. Yes, surprisingly enough, they also store teas. This tea technically contains caffeine, but due to the ingredients (Greek Red Saffron, Lemon and Spearmint) it has found its way into my selection. The flavour is quite specific, I won’t deny this, and it is surely not a tea I would go for on a daily basis, but Red Saffron and Spearmint definitely add something “extra” to the plain black tea. Korres teas are quite pricey, but you have to take into consideration the fact they are organic and that the majority of ingredients are rather unique.

Tea from the DM’s (drugstore) homebrand Das Gesunde Plus is, on the contrary, the cheap alternative to the organic teas family. One of my all time favourites is their Rooibos Vanilla Orange tea, that I find myself reaching for on a regular basis. I like my Rooibos with Vanilla, it is not a surprise, but this one has a tiny hint of sourness due to the Orange flavour. However unusual the combination might sound, in the end it makes a tasty and refreshing, aromatic blend.

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Another Rooibos of the collection is Pickwick’s Rooibos Vanilla tea. This one comes in “fancy” fabric tea bags, which is not too typical for me to keep in my collection box (I indeed, prefer when the tea is covered with paper for this kind of storage), but I go through it quite quickly and I assume that soon enough I’ll be able to replace it with a more “storage-friendly” tea. As noted above, Rooibos Vanilla tends to be my all-time favourite variation of Rooibos, and I am positive that one way or another, it will always be a part of my collection.

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King’s Crown, the affordable tea brand that is available in another drugstore – Rossmann – is always an attractive option considering their tea variations. I wrote a blogpost about its Green Tea that became the part of my daily routine, but its white tea is kept in my storage for when I feel like something special. This Pomegranate White Tea combines two of my favourite things: the pomegranate flavour with the freshness and lightness of white tea, which is always a good option when you feel like “real” tea, but not caffeine.

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Red tea cannot be missing from the caffeine-free tea collection: and this time a Rosehip tea from Teekanne took over this role. For the moments when I feel a little low on vitamins and am craving something sour. This tea is also exquisite when served cool – very nice refreshing feeling, especially on hot summer days.

The “loner” of my collection is a Lemon Sky from Ronnefeldt that was purchased separately, out of curiosity. Obviously, I haven’t tried it yet, but the combination of Flavoured Fruit Infusion with Lemon Flavour sounds exciting enough for me to give it a go soon.

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What are your favourite caffeine-free teas? Do you go for herbal ones or rather fruit infusions? Is there a special way you like to store your tea? Let me know!

x

 

 

 

Best Spring Blushes: Corals, Pinks and Magic

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Hello everyone! I hope you’ve thoroughly enjoyed these almost 2 weeks of meteorological spring (I know, I know, the weather outside says otherwise). To put myself in a perfectly springy mood, I always raid through my drawers, in search of inspiration. Pastels, bright pinks and corals, maybe a bit of shimmer – this is the direction I’m heading as soon as my soul starts longing for spring.

The best (and easiest, I believe) way to open your heart to spring is to incorporate some of the bright and radiant colours into your make-up routine. And is there an easier way to do it than by using a blusher? Not only does it immediately bring life to a pale wintery face, but it also acts as perhaps the fastest and the simplest way to experiment without any extra fuss.

In the following paragraphs I will present you my all-time favourite spring blushers that I withdrew from the drawers for this season while shopping my stash.

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Too Faced, the love of my life. In my last beauty post I was all about the newest edition to their range – the Love Flush blushes. Now, I’m coming back to basics and selecting a star of spring/summer 2014. I am typically not the biggest fan of shimmer, but this blush makes me love it. So subtle and finely melt, the Too Faced Sweethearts blush is the only one out of my selection I present here that could also be used as a highlighter. Swipe over all three shades, or apply one of the stripes – this blush is a recipe for a perfectly fresh glowy look in peachy nuances. And the name of the shade is pretty darn appropriate – Peach Beach.

My second “suspect” is the trio from Sephora. Technically, it’s not a blush, but a palette that combines bronzer, highlighter and a blush. But it definitely comes in handy, doesn’t it? I like using the blusher for its gorgeous flashy effect and warm-toned coral shade (whereas bronzer is a bit too dark for me, and highlighter is a tad too pink). MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Trio is, indeed, extremely smooth and easy too apply. What’s more, it’s very affordable, compact and versatile. I went for the shade 02 Medium.

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Cha Cha Tint from Benefit is my favourite from the Tints range. Benefit describes it as “mango-tinted” (thank you, otherwise I would’ve gone with an obligatory “peachy”, but mango sounds just so much better… and juicier). I know it’s not up of everyone’s alley – first of all, due to the application. It’s not the easiest on Earth, and you definitely need to be as speedy as it gets with it. Secondly, the shade: orange (even mango orange) is simply not everyone’s cup of tea. But for me this product is a miracle! When blended into the skin, it stays put for hours. It also provides you with this beautiful dewiness and glow no powder blush is capable of. And an added benefit: you can also smear it over your lips!

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Next beauty is the only limited edition I present you here. I have many gorgeous shades from spring collections of various brands, but I believe it’s a little unfair to include them into the selection. This, however, I cannot omit. The concept itself is quite ground-breaking. Released in last year’s limited edition Fancy Beauty Tales, this blush from the German brand P2 is one of a kind (if not, please widen my horizons!). Cream blush that comes out completely white (strange!) and turns into subtle rose colour as you blend it into your skin (magic!). I’ve always had this strange weakness for all kinds of gimmicks, but this one seems to work. The blusher applies quite well, and in comparison with some other products that come invisible and adapt to your skin tone with time, this one would not surprise you neither with an intense flush of colour, nor with streaky application. Shoutout for the team of developers who decided to name it “Unexpected magic blush“! Mine is in the shade 02 Catch the Glow.

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Alongside this unpredictable beauty, the very predictable, and I even dare to say, expected blusher is coming to the light. It’s a classic. NYX’s High Definition Blush. I believe everyone and their dog know about this range – they are affordable, compact, great value for the price and… decorated with a cute bow 🙂 The shade I selected – Baby Doll – looks like the most “typical” spring tone. Bright pink with iridescent shimmer works like magic (not as magical as its predecessor though :-P)! So flattering, yet so seasonal. I would never wear this shade in winter, but it was certainly made for spring.

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Last, but not least is Rimmel’s Stay Blushed! Liquid Cheek Tint in 002 Touch of Berry. It is quite similar to the P2 blusher mentioned above, but good news is that it’s widely available all over the world. Bad news is that it’s not magical 🙂 It’s a great one though – it comes as a lightweight gel-cream and applies quite evenly. It wears off beautifully, however I didn’t find it too long-wearing, Cha Cha Tint from Benefit is a definite winner, longevity-wise. Other than that, I cannot complain: it’s cheap as chips and comes in a handy little packaging that is so easy to use on the go.

These are my faves for the upcoming season, and as you can see, I “served” them with some Peeps I got from the United States. Peeps are definitely a sign of spring for me! Especially considering it’s so hard to get a hold of them where I live.

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What are your favourite spring blushers? What colours and shades do you gravitate towards as it gets warmer? What is you preferred texture: cream or powder? Let me know!

x

Tea Review: Alnatura Frühlings Tee

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Spring is here! Although quite unofficial, but let’s be honest, we’ve been awaiting it for quite a while, haven’t we? Meteorological spring officially started on March 1st, but spring in our minds has been developing since Christmas, I dare to assert 🙂 Basically, we are more than ready to drop warmer and heavier layers and commence a new page.

As for tea, every time I start noticing the first daffodils making their way to this world and blue sky smiling in accordance, I am eager to start a new routine. I tend to change my tea regiment every spring, when I slowly but surely start gravitating towards lighter blends and reduce caffeinated teas. By saying this, I mean that I switch my Darjeelings and Earl greys for Rooibos or herbal infusions.

One of my last year’s discoveries was a “Spring tea” (original name: Frühlings Teeof a German brand Alnatura.

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Being one of my favourite organic brands, Alnatura has never especially attracted me with their tea assortment (besides my all-time favourite Good Evening tea). Last year’s special edition drew my attention straight away, not exclusively by its colourful packaging, but I dare to confess that it was also a factor. 🙂 I don’t gravitate to herbal infusions as per daily consumption (I do need my caffeine), but this time I’ve decided to give it a go.

It comes in a packaging of 20 flat tea bags, packed in a separate paper envelope (1,5g each).

Ingredients: Lemongrass, Raspberry and Blackberry leaves (ummm, exciting!), Lemon Verbena, Mint.

Scent: A lovely combination of ingredients makes for a beautiful scent. Light herbal, with quite a recognisable note of citrus.

Taste: it’s a winner! Its flavour is light, yet rich. Refreshing, yet aromatic. I can distinguish blackberry and/or raspberry leaves (I might be a little more advanced at it, since I remember steeping fresh leaves straight off the berry bushes). Mint is not very prominent, but it’s clearly present, and I believe is responsible for the slightly tingly aftertaste.

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Serving: Alnatura recommends steeping the tea for 8-10 minutes in boiling water. I would reduce the steeping time: 5 minutes is more than enough for an herbal tea of this kind. However the temperature of water should be as recommended by the manufacturer. Herbal teas in general (unlike green and white teas) are supposed to be steeped in boiling water due to the time some herbs need for a so-called “decocting”. Many tea lovers even prefer to “cook” their herbal tea for a while, not just pour boiling water over it. For chamomile and mint infusions 90 degrees Celcius water is preferable, but since here we are dealing with a more complex blend, I’d definitely go for 100.

Energy level: being a 100% herbal infusion, this tea does not contain caffeine, therefore there’s no danger of any additional energy. For that reason, I might not recommend it for early mornings, however I find it perfect for a lazy weekend or late evenings, just before going to bed.

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Frühlings Tee was my tea of choice in the spring 2015, and I still have a couple of tea bags left for the upcoming months. I like the taste of it, I love how refreshing it is and that it goes perfectly with every meal at any day or night time. I will keep my eyes open for this year’s edition of Alnatura’s Frühlings Tee, as I know they tend to bring them out, slightly repackaged, every year. I love my routines, and I like imagining this tea for the spring time being one of them.

What are your favourite herbal infusions? Do you have any favourite tea blend for this spring? Do you also tend to switch your tea “wardrobe” as seasons change?

x

Leap Day Beauty Round-up

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Leap year, leap day – although it’s Monday, it just gives you (or at least me) this sparkling feeling of blessing, boost of energy and not the least extra 24 hours that we so eagerly wish for. For this year’s last day of February, I’ve decided to sum up my recent beauty discoveries from this month.

First things first, my love for Benefit has been proven throughout the years, and it looks like at this point nothing and no one can question it. Regardless, it took me all these years to finally grab their iconic product – the Hello Flawless powder that has been on my list since its launch. Very finely blend pressed powder comes in a hefty square packaging, which is a downside. The first and last for me. On the positive note: it includes mirror and the second “compartment” that hides not one but two types of applicators – an obligatory sponge (that I am going to avoid) and a more solid brush (that I am going to use on rare occasions). I know that the majority of us would not care about these “extra benefits” too much, nonetheless they could be quite handy when on the go. And by the way, my shade is Me, vain? Champaigne, and it looks like a pretty much perfect match.

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Second product from Benefit is a rather new Puff Off! Remember when it was launched back in 2014, and many were shocked by the iron-shaped applicator? 🙂 In fact the cooling metal tip reminiscent of an iron is a great method to de-puff your under-eye area and smoothen fine lines. I don’t tend to suffer from puffiness, but from time to time it comes uninvited, and as you know – it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The only concern I have with this product described as “instant eye gel to help smooth the look of puffies“, is the prominent metal tip. Being allergic to the vast majority of metals other than noble, I am not so sure about using this applicator on a – sensitive by definition – under-eye area. Have any of you who’ve tried this product had any issues with it?

Next goodie is a Sephora Duochrome Eyeshadow from the Duo Reflects line. A little (a lot) more shimmery than I expected, so definitely not a pick for an everyday use. The colour itself is a gorgeous aubergine, but it gets lost in the flood of glitter. I love the name (Siren’s Charm, N 111) and its pretty scale pattern. I can imagine it very well for a night out or a ball, but the longevity of wear still remains to be seen. It claims to be long-lasting, however due to the amount of shimmer I wouldn’t recommend you to ever wear it without an eyeshadow primer underneath.

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Make Up Forever Mist & Fix Setting Spray was a pretty much blind pick. After trying a bunch of setting sprays from very affordable (NYX or Revolution ones) to very pricey (Urban Decay, which is still a winner for me), I’ve been on a hunt for alternatives. I haven’t heard much about MUFE fixing spray. To be entirely honest, I haven’t ever heard anything about it, but considering the handy 30ml size and a bold claim “moisturising”, I was convinced. After all, in comparison with drugstore setting sprays alcohol is not straight at the beginning of ingredients list here. MUFE setting spray has a light scent to it, but it’s not the scent of alcohol. If fixing sprays in general do not benefit your skin at the slightest, this one at least doesn’t seem to be able to damage it completely.

The only pick from drugstore was the latest Max Factor‘s launch – Lipfinity lipstick, that I have to admit, was love at first sight. Unfortunately, in my country the complete line consists of only 6 shades, but all of them are so appealing and wearable, that I considered it to be for our (and our bank account’s) best 🙂 After a long decision-making process I stopped on the shade number 50 Just Alluring. First of all, of course I was attracted by the name (yes, I am THIS type of person). Secondly, the colour is a perfect wearable lilac, that seemed to be great for transitioning into the warmer season, but also had enough intensity for the colder months. And finally, the beautiful texture of this lipstick that glides like silk and stays put for hours, staining your lips and providing them with the plumped look. This Lipfinity line is one of the best Max Factor‘s launches in the recent years, I dare to say.

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And finally, the definite star of the month of February is a gorgeous lipstick from the long-awaited Gwen Stefani collection for Urban Decay. Traumatised by missing the beautiful palette after its November launch, I couldn’t afford myself another failure, and was one of the first ones in line 🙂 Decisions, decisions… which one to choose, when all shades look so glorious?! And their names!!!! In the end, I went for the Rocksteady – I still felt like rocking intense burgundy shades before the winter is gone for good. Needless to say, the lipstick itself is extremely comfortable on the lips – it is not matte, but it gives both incredible intensity of colour and stain that survives meals, drinks and talking. I had to blot it with a tissue a couple of times after applying, just because I didn’t feel too comfortable with wearing this intense of a shade in the daylight (and this comes from a passionate Mac Rebel wearer, so you can imagine…). It’s a whole different story for the nighttime and I would recommend it to anyone who dares wearing a bolder lip colour.

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As always, I have a tea recommendation for you. As we are approaching spring and getting our beauty routine adapted accordingly, there could not be a more appropriate choice than the Spring Tea (Früng) from Alnatura. A perfect refreshing herbal infusion for wellbeing – a review will follow.

Are you ready for spring to arrive? Have you tried any of the mentioned products? If so, please do share your thoughts… What were your favourite picks or discoveries of February? Let me know, I’m always on a hunt!

x.