Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My simple manicure routine

I don't have a lot of spare time, so I tend to really simplify anything that I can – including my manicure routine. It's simple, straightforward and works for me. First, I prepare everything I'll need.

Basically, I put together all the necessary tools – nail files, cuticle nippers, cuticle pusher, small scissors and the likes.

Then, I go through my nail polishes and gather up everything I think I'll use – sometimes I give myself more than one option (like here, where I debated between matte finish and glossy finish). 

Next up, it's time to get that old nail polish off. I just bought this Delia polish remover which smells like strawberries and doesn't contain any acetone. I kind of prefer it this way, since I find that acetone really dries up my nails. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Decluttering like a pro: everyday cosmetics (a long post!)

Every single time I bring home a new product, I feel the need to use it right away. It doesn’t really matter if I already have 3 hair sprays opened, or 5 body lotions – surely, this new one will be so utterly superior to them that I will throw the old ones away and only use the new one for the rest of my life. Sounds familiar? If it does, then you probably have seen something like this before. 

Every once in a while, I reach a point when everything starts falling out, I have no place for new things and I really, really need to clean stuff out. So I did something similar as with nail polishes – got everything out and went through it. Here are the results with small reviews on each of the products and whether I tossed or kept it. I suggest you get a snack, since it’s going to be a long post!

Let’s start with hair products.

L’Oreal Elnett de Luxe – strong hold which also offers extra heat protection. I don’t like the pump, would prefer a spray, but it’s a good hold, and I don’t really use hair spray all that much. Keeping.

Taft Cashmere Touch Power Spray.  This was sitting in the back of the closet for about 2 years and I distinctly remember why I stopped using it – it made my hair so hard that I had problems combing through it after I used it. Trash.

Aiko Styling Heat Protecting Spray. I did not know it was a Müller brand until this very moment. Did not care for this product – I didn’t see any difference in how my hair behaved or how good it looked whether I used it or not. Trash.

Syoss Anti-Grease dry shampoo. This smells like lemon, which I like a lot since it makes my hair smell fresh. It does work to give second day hair a bit of volume, but I wouldn’t necessarily use it instead of washing my hair after that. Good value for money – lasts a long time. Keeping.

Nivea Volume Sensation Styling Mousse. Number 4 (out of 5) – extra strong. I normally put it into wet hair before washing to give it a little extra volume around the base. There’s not really that much left, so I am keeping it.

In my previous post about hair botox I talked about the frizz in my hair and their general dullness. I have quite a few products to combat that, not including the Morrocan oil and Keraste oils I just purchased.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A bit of TLC for my hair - Shisheido Senscience C.P.R.

As I probably mentioned in some of the past posts, I switched my hairdresser about six months ago. I was getting really unsatisfied with my old one (who in my opinion was not following the trends in products and styling at all) and decided to go for it. It was stressful, but I think it turned out OK

Anyway, I had blonde hair with highlights forever. For about half of my life. Since my old hairdresser really was not paying much attention to the quality of the products, my hair was damaged, brittle and breaking all the time. 

So anyway, with the change of stylist, I was ready for something completely new. I decided that we should go back to my natural hair color (which is this really boring light brown), but give it a little somethin’ somethin’, if you know what I mean. After spending countless hours on internet, I eventually decided to go with sombre – basically a more subtle variation of ombre, where only individual locks are highlighted by hand. I am happy with the color, but my stylist kept going on and on about how we should do something more for my hair since it’s so damaged and unfortunate looking. 

Eventually, I gave in and booked an appointment for “botox” – which leads us to this post.

This is my hair before the treatment. You can see that I had tons of split hair, frizz and how dry the hair looks (BTW, don’t judge, this was taken moments before I left for my appointment and at that point in time, I haven’t brushed it for about 10 hours).

Now let’s discuss this botox thing. The first thing that I want to make clear is that there is no actual botox involved. It’s basically a buzzword for a deep conditioning treatment, which can’t (well, is not supposed to) be done at home, like you would do with a normal hair mask. 

There are many variations of these treatment available, but two are most frequent. First is the L’Oreal Fiberceutics treatment. This is the “light” version, apparently only takes less than an hour with the styling and everything and is considerably less expensive. From what I could gather, it gives a good first result, but is really not as effective in locking in the moisture in the hair. Basically, a glorified hair mask. You can find such treatments often on the websites offering special promotions. 

The other treatment, which I have undergone, is the Senscience C.P.R. (Cuticle Porosity Reconstructive Treatment), developed by Shisheido. It is intended for very dry and damaged hair, which, in short, described my hair situation perfectly. The products contain Keratin, Silk Amino Acids and Bio-Structurer (which apparently is the key of the “secret” formula). It’s a two-step process which takes about an hour and a half to complete, so I was styled and out the door in about two hours. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Look Fantastic Beauty Box – March 2015

The March edition of Look Fantastic Beauty Box arrived a lot faster than the February one and I was so excited to find the package on my desk when I arrived at work. I gave it my all and actually did not go snooping around the internet to see what other people received, so opening it was again a nice surprise. 

But before we get into this box, let’s do a quick recap of some products in the February box. Remember this?

I have not yet tackled the Korres Citrus body milk and the Sea Mud cleanser. I absolutely don’t want anything to do with the Bellapierre eye pencil anymore – it’s so hard that I almost poked my eye out a couple of times while tightlining. I am quite disappointed since it was my first mineral eye pencil and I was really excited to receive it at first. Also, I am not impressed by the Monu Illuminating primer. It is very, very sticky and difficult to apply. It also doesn’t seem to extend the lifespan of my foundation or make it go on any smoother. I would not purchase a full size of either of these products.

I can however say that I am almost through with half of the bottle of Moroccanoil. It is an absolutely divine product and I love it. I will however hold on the final verdict until I try the new Kerastase oil I received recently. And finally, I am giving the dr. Pawpaw balm a big thumbs up – I used it for my lips almost every night and they have been looking considerably better than usually. I would definitely repurchase both of these items.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My one brand skincare routine with Ole Henriksen

In December, I was shopping quite a bit as you might have noticed already from my posts. Since I've hoarded so much make-up, I decided to go for the skin care instead and ended up choosing a set of different face products on  - the Ole Henriksen Magnificent Seven Holiday Kit. 

I paid about €33 for this set of 7 deluxe samples, which is bargain really, since each of the full-size products costs an arm and a leg, but we'll get to that later. Apparently, the set is worth £89, which brings us close to €120.

Now you'll probably agree that the box looks fab on the front, but I find what is in the back even more important. The box actually provides you exact information about each of the products (it's also printed on the sides), also advising whether to use it in the morning or in the evening. 

I would have kept the box until I ran out of the products anyway, since it's a cheat sheet and at the same time stores the products really nicely. Of course you don't have to keep it – there are simple paper instructions inside as well. 

Anyway, as already mentioned, the set includes 7 deluxe samples. I'll just do this review in the way I use them throughout the day. I start of every morning with the African Red Tea Foaming cleanser. The instruction is to simply massage it into damp skin and rinse clean with warm water. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring giveaway!

My lovely, beautiful readers, I’m so happy I’m able to do another giveaway for you. We’re quickly approaching 100 Facebook subscribers (reason for another giveaway?) and I’m so happy that I’m able to reach out to so many of you. I know that it may not seem like much, but I really love my blog and every one of you :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

February favorites

It’s the shortest month of the year and it really went by in a New York minute for me. I’ve been working hard and playing hard, which made it a fun month. And here are some things that made it even more beautiful.

This Stenders Salt Scrub – Rose I actually picked up when shopping for a friend’s birthday present. It contains polished salt cyrstals, shea butter, rose petals, sweet almond and jojoba oil. 

As you can see, the salt is really finely ground and the rose petals are mixed in. It doesn’t look very appealing to me, and the smell is not the loveliest to be honest, but it is a really, really great lovely scrub. It develops a more soft scent once you rub it over the skin and it leaves the skin super, super soft. The thing is, it feels a bit oily and I always wait a bit before putting my clothes on – similar as I would with a moisturizer. But still, nice.