My Summer 2016 Must-Haves

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As the summer (or rather the absence of summer we’ve been having this year) is coming to an end (crying face), I’ve decided to summarise a couple of all-round beauty bits that were accompanying me on a daily basis throughout the season of sunflowers and music festivals, sea breeze and Aperol spritzes…

A good ole’ dry shampoo is a must in summer. No matter how sweaty the summer is. Since 2009, I’ve been pretty loyal to the affordable, yet amazingly efficient Batiste. I adore the brand for the limited editions and various scents they come up with from time to time. In my opinion, the Floral Essences with colourful packaging is a quintessence of summer. I used it on my “third-day-hair”, as well as on freshly washed locks for extra volume and texture. Cannot go wrong with this one!

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It is no secret that I don’t like to fuss when it comes to hair. My favourite summer hairstyle is messy beachy waves. Having naturally wavy hair, I only need a couple of spritzes of salt spray after the wash to create the every day nonchalante hair look. This summer I’ve got to try the TRESemmé Perfectly (UN)Done Sea Salt Spray that I picked up in the US last year. The name says it all – messy “bed hair” is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I feel that it’s what suits me the most.

If you are a fan of Bronze Goddess scents from Estee Lauder, or Beach fragrance from Bobby Brown, you could definitely appreciate the more affordable version of the most summery scent ever: coconuts, sand and light florals. Monoi from Yves Rocher has been my “go to” scent for a couple of summers already. Lower percentage of alcohol in this Hydrating spray turns it into a perfect companion for those days when your favourite longer-wearing perfumes make you feel dizzy. What’s more – apply it directly onto your skin, and you’ll get an extra portion of moisture alongside the heavenly scent.

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My least used product this summer was my last summer’s favourite. Fruity Sorbet from The Body Shop (in the most summery of ’em all Satsuma scent) is incredibly refreshing for those hot and humid days when you don’t want to fuss with a moisturiser. Keeping the product in a fridge definitely serves for the best result – I adore the feeling of cooling juicy sorbet on my skin just after the cold shower. This year, however, due to the limited amount of sunny hot days in my part of the world, this guy spent most of its summer in the fridge.

When  it comes to make up, I go with the summer flow: the last thing I want is the struggle of the melting full-make up face. Hence, BB or CC creams are my every day companions. This summer, I’ve discovered the Aquasource CC Gel from Biotherm. It has minimal coverage, but serves amazingly well as a moisturiser and skin tone equaliser. I love the lightweight gel texture, which is also extremely refreshing in comparison with heavier cream consistency.

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Another summer trick is to go for the “multi-use” creamy products. I’ve tried out the novelty from Maybelline – the latest addition to their Baby Lips range. Baby Lips & Cheeks has a funky cute packaging – which is already a plus, but not the only one. It comes in four bright shades that look incredible on both lips and cheeks. Considering how affordable this range is, I love the effect of fresh and glowy skin it provides. I own three out of the four shades, but I found Flirty Pink works best for my complexion. Simply put, it’s yet another “no fuss” make up product that is easy to re-apply on the go (and what’s more – the scent is just yummy!).

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A crucial step in my summer make up routine is refreshing my face with thermal water. This year I discovered the Vitality Splash from the German brand Be:Yu that has amazing nourishing as well as refreshing properties. If you are new to this whole “thermal water” game, trust me: nothing feels better than spraying your face with a cooling citrus-scented mist. Hence, recommended to keep in the fridge.

How has your summer 2016 been so far? Have you had the chance to enjoy a summer vacation? What were your go-to city or holiday essentials this season?

Let me know!

x

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Winter Purples: What’s Trending in My Daily Routine?

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Have you ever experienced winter blues? I have, and not once. However, I made a conscious choice to re-qualify this state of mind for the winter purples. Simply put, there is no reason whatsoever to not feel uplifted during the colder months, however dull and “bluesy” the world behind the window might seem.

Here is my selection of “must have” beauty products that accompany me on my winter routine.

First things first, hair. The crown of beauty. In winter, its state is usually far from the perfect mane we envision ourselves with, be it due to the indoor/outdoor temperature change, static electricity from scarves and hats, or finally, simple vitamins deficiency. Kerastase V.I.P. Volume in Powder spray is a winner for me. It has this magical power to return my dull hair back to life within seconds. Let’s say, it is an ‘easier to get’ alternative to the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. I know, this comparison is quite bold and might seem a little rushed, but both these products, although quite pricy, work wonders on thin, lifeless hair.

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The Body Shop Christmas line has never managed to let me down. This year (meaning December 2015) I especially liked their Frosted Plum range. Mesmerised by the scent, I picked up their Body Butter and Hand Cream, knowing that these are the items I would get the most use out of. But secretly plotting on how to become a source of this very scent wherever I go. Body Butter is amazingly nourishing, hence perfect for my dryer skin in colder months. Hand cream is too thin to my liking, but the small packaging is quite handy on the go.

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The newest discovery of mine was the Too Faced Love Flush blush in the “purpliest” shade available – Your Love is King. You’ve surely heard much about this product: for a good couple of months it’s been all over the internet. No wonder, it is pretty much perfect. Sleek packaging (even though I find the shape quite cheesy), pretty pattern inside, but more importantly, amazing pigmentation and long-lasting effect do the trick.

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Purple or dark burgundy shades of nail polishes have certainly become one of the staples of fall/winter season. My colour of choice is Essie‘s Sole Mate. Having it in my collection for years, I’ve fully acknowledged my affection towards it only recently.

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And the nice final touch to my purple routine is a spritz of YSL Manifesto perfume. Not a fan of the original scent – Manifesto EDP – I found myself inclining towards the L’Eclat version of the fragrance. Less intense, and definitely less sickly sweet, Manifesto L’Eclat could be described as a “woody” scent with distinct note of vanilla and tonka beans.

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And of course, it all blends well together only accompanied with tea. My choice for the winter purples days is Prince Vladimir from Kusmi Tea. Nothing warms up your day like a “Russian blend of China teas with scents of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit and spices”.

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And what about you? Have you tried any of these products? What are your purple favourites of the season? Does your winter routine have a colour?

Let me know!

x.