Author / TheSkinCabinet

Niod: the good, the bad and the final verdict
Reviews Skincare

Niod: the good, the bad and the final verdict

Hi everyone, today I’m reviewing 3 products from the Deciem family. I’m sure you all know Deciem, but if it’s the first time you’ve heard the name, then I’m sure you’ve already heard of Niod or TheOrdinary, both owned by the Canadian company (but they also own Hylamide and many other brands for skincare, supplements and haircare).

Let’s start with the 3 Niod products I’ve tried. The three of them make up the Yesti collection, which, as they explain, is a way to use science but being respectful of the past. I know it sounds a tad weird but Niod is really a brand that wants to stand out from the crowd. The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s not very easy to understand what the products are for just from the names. And even when you read the descriptions, they can be hard to interpret if you don’t know anything about skincare. That was appealing to me at the beginning, but now I’m not so sure it’s a form of marketing that works for me.

This is the second tube of it I’m using. It’s a cleansing balm for the skin and not to be used to remove make-up, as they say in the description. Its aim is to be respectful of the skin’s barrier and I agree – it’s not an aggressive cleanser. It seeks to cleanse the pores of bacteria, dirt and oil. It cleanses the natural oil that the skin produces, but by doing so it also promotes its recycling. At the same time, it doesn’t dry the skin out and produce the opposite effect (overproduction of oils to protect the skin).

How I use it: it’s not that easy to apply, in all honesty, especially if you like fast solutions. I don’t mind spending some more time. I take some of the paste from the tube, add a few drops of water in the palm of my hand to create a cream. I then apply it on dry skin and add more water if needed. You can easily rinse it off with water and avoid using flannels.

The verdict: I like it. I don’t think I can use it every single day, especially right now when my skin is super dry. The Ayurvedic Saponins – which is where the name and nutty smell (not the most pleasant, but tolerable) come from – is unrefined and highly concentrated and has been used for centuries to cleanse the skin and “delete dirt”. It does this well, but I also find it slightly drying and that’s why I would recommend it to people with oily skin, combination or normal.

It costs £21 and I’d think it’s worth trying. A quick note on the packaging: when you open it and squeeze some product out, more will come out even when you have stopped squeezing. So you’ll have to put the cap on super-fast; even then some goes to waste. Niod, please fix it. It’s not nice.

This mask, which comes in the most unpractical pot I’ve ever seen, a bit like a pill jar, aims to tighten the skin, something I’ve never really heard of from a mask. Myhrr is a natural resin/gum whose main benefit is to give firmness to the skin, without leaving any residual film on the surface (typical of ingredients like mineral oil, silicones).

How I use it: once a week, as it says on the label, on dry skin. It smells like plum and has an intense black colour – you’ll scare everyone around you when you put it on. It dries up a bit but doesn’t crack up like most clay masks that paralyze your face once they’re dry. You can remove it with a flannel or just rinse it off with water.

The verdict: my opinions are mixed. I haven’t seen any noticeable result, to be honest. I’ve probably used it around 10 times now and I never see any particular difference in my skin. Could it be that my skin is already firm enough? Perhaps. Let me know if you’ve already used this product. For now, I don’t feel comfortable in recommending a €33 mask that didn’t do anything to my skin.

Last but not least in the collection is this mask, Mastic Must, whose aim is to reduce the size of pores (no need to say it’s not possible to eliminate pores). It’s a very soft and creamy texture and a light colour. Once applied to the skin you can leave it on as long as you want, it will not dry out or give you an uncomfortable feeling. The magic ingredient in this case is sap from a Greek mastic tree that “purifies and shrinks the look of pores without drying”.  Does it work? To be honest: No. It didn’t work for me. It did nothing to my pores. I’ve taken some before and after pics to see if I could notice any difference, and trust me, I do have some large pores around my nose area. The pictures show no before-after difference and I didn’t notice anything from looking at my skin in the mirror either.

The verdict: this product did not work for my skin. It didn’t make it worse but there was no positive effect, and it certainly didn’t help with my pores. I’m sorry to say this. Each person’s skin is different but I have to be honest and say I don’t think anyone needs this €34 product in their skincare stash.

Have you tried Niod products? What do you think?

xxx

Silvia

 

 

 

 

leahlani skincare mermaid mask champagne serum review
Reviews Skincare

Leahlani skincare: first impressions and thoughts

Hi my dear skincare-addicts,

At the end of January I was stuck at home studying for my exams. Is there a better way to treat yourself than with a good skincare haul? There really isn’t, so I took the plunge and splurged on some new skincare bits from Leahlani. I chose GreenSoulCosmetics because they are based in Italy so I knew the delivery would be fast, but they ship everywhere and I highly encourage you to take a look at their website if you’re into green skincare. Their customer service was fantastic and it was the first time I’ve received a handwritten note with one of my orders.

I picked two products: the Mermaid Mask, because it’s probably their most popular item, they even have a hashtag for it (#mermaidmondays), and the Champagne serum, because I was looking for something to replace the face oil I was running out of.

Here are my first impressions after almost two months of using them. I say first impressions but after all this time I guess you can consider them full reviews.

I chose this mask to see if the hype was real. It should help to purify and renew the complexion”, “strengthen the skin cells, boost circulation, fight breakouts and moisturize”. My expectations were very high, to be honest. It’s not that easy to apply; especially the first few times. You have to mix the product well with a spatula the first time you open it. You then have to scoop a bit of product out – it’s a very dense and thick paste – and massage it on damp skin (your skin has to be damp, this is very important). It might seem easy, but it isn’t and I kept wondering if I was using the right amount because on damp skin the product glides and doesn’t seem to stick that well to the skin. Anyway… I’ve now mastered the technique, but it took some time. It doesn’t dry out so you can leave it on your skin for all the time you want/need. I find 30 minutes to be more than enough.

It contains raw honey, organic spirulina and organic chlorella (both grown in Hawaii and both considered “superfoods”) which give it that emerald green colour and a few essential oils (see at the bottom). It has a delicate sweet smell.

Since my first use, I haven’t noticed all of the things that other people noticed. I know each individual’s skin is different, and I try not to be influenced by other people’s experience. I found that it revealed a glow complexion, soothed the skin, but I didn’t find it nourishing enough and I sometimes felt that my skin was tight, like after you’ve used a foaming cleanser (most of you will know this feeling). So while I have enjoyed using it, I’m not stunned by it. I did expect a bit more to be honest.

Final verdict: I’m happy that I’ve tried it, but it probably will not be a favourite mask of mine. I also got in touch with Leahlani’s founder, Leah. She kindly gave me some advice on how to get the most out of it, all of which I’ve tried: taking a shower with it, as the steam helps, (but it my case it only melted), making sure you use it on damp skin, massaging it in a circular motion, etc.

I will let you know if I change my mind about it and I will keep on using it until it’s finished, of course.

Organic Hawaiian raw honey, organic Hawaiian spirulina (Spirulina Maxima), pure organic chlorella (Chlorella Vulgaris), french green clay, pure sea clay, luminess algae, organic sea buckthorn CO2 (Hippophae Rhamnoides), vanilla CO2 (Vanilla Planifolia), essential oils of: (organic orange (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis), moroccan chamomile (Tanacetum annuum ), roman chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) , geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens), palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini), lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), ylang ylang (Canaga Odorata), rose (Rose Damascena), white lotus flower absolute (Nelumbo Nucifera), beeswax absolute (Apies millifera), coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum), and LOVE.

leahlani skincare mermaid mask champagne serum review

This oil is designed for all skin types, but is especially beneficial for “dry and sensitive skin prone to redness and inflammation” according to their website, and it should “help balance and soothe, reduce inflammation and help heal scarring”. The main oils it contains are: grapeseed oil, rosehip oil (not a favourite of mine when taken on its own) and jojoba oil along with a few essential oils (see the full ingredient list at the bottom). I love the packaging: a thick glass transparent bottle with a pump that works great – more practical than the usual pipette most serums have. The fragrance is not too strong and, to be honest, I can’t describe it. It’s very calming and it obviously doesn’t remain on the skin, but it makes the application very pleasant. I have used it on my skin almost every night, one pump is enough to cover my whole face, and I usually massage it all over for a few seconds. It doesn’t absorb very quickly, that’s why in my opinion you should only use it at night. It does what it says: in the morning I find my skin to be calm (no redness), hydrated – though I wish it was more nourishing – and the oil is fully absorbed, with no residue.

Final verdict: I would highly recommend this product if you’re looking for a face oil to use at night and you have no specific concerns. It worked well on my skin and I think it has a great price point if you consider how long it will last and the fact that it’s made with green ingredients (and with LOVE, at they wrote on the label!).

Organic cold pressed grapeseed oil (Vitis Vinifera), cold pressed chardonnay grapeseed oil (Vitis Vinifera Chardonnay), organic cold pressed rosehip oil (Rosa Canina), organic cold pressed jojoba oil (Simmondsia Chinensis), essential oils of: organic lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla), organic orange (Citrus Nobilis), rose geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens), Leahlani antioxidant cocktail: (organic green tea (Camellia Sinensis), organic white tea (Camellia Sinensis), organic rooibos tea (Aspalathus Linearis), organic calendula (Calendula Officinalis), Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), organic sunflower oil (Helianthus Annuus) and LOVE.


leahlani skincare mermaid mask champagne serum review

Have you tried Leahlani’s products? Let me know if you have any advice!

xxx

Silvia

The Best of Skincare tag
Skincare

The Best of Skincare Tag

Hi everyone! Today I decided for the first time to take part in a tag. Guess what it’s about? My favourite topic of course: skincare. I read it on Holly’s blog and I don’t know who started it first. Feel free to join me and do your own version!

  1. Skin type?

My skin fits into the category ‘never been perfect, never will’. I know I shouldn’t say that perfect skin exists but let’s all face it – some people have won the genetic lottery when it comes to skin. I’m not one of them. I have always had oily (very oily, to be fair) skin. I had acne for years and that left some nice scars on my cheeks. They could be worse, they could be better too. Around three years ago, I started taking the pill to take back control of my skin and doing that made it normal to dry. It also helped me completely get rid of my acne and I rarely have blemishes now! Just to add – I also tend to have blackheads on my nose and chin as well as redness on my cheeks where the scars are.

  1. Skincare product storage?

I live between two houses so my products travel a lot. I tend to store them in a cupboard in my bathroom and around the sink.

  1. Favourite ingredient?

Honey! My favourite mask, Aura, is packed with honey and it seems like it’s the best ingredient for deeply nourishing my skin. Plus, it’s a natural antibacterial and helps to make spots less inflamed and red.

  1. Most indulgent product?

I recently splurged on the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. I use it to cleanse my face in the morning and at night, after I have removed my make-up. But it’s worth mentioning I don’t wear make-up very day. I’m loving it. It was definitely an extravagant buy for me but I was lucky to get it with an offer (so I paid it £28 instead of £38!).

  1. Best budget buy?

The first item that comes to mind is Good Things Manuka Honey Cream Cleanser, but Superdrug’s Hydrating Serum is a great budget buy too. Both are under £5. I’m afraid they may only be available in the UK though.

  1. Any tools?

I do have a Clarisonic my mum got me for Xmas a few years ago. I remember how happy I was – I thought it was going to make my skin flawless. The problem is that for it to work well you need to use a foaming cleanser, as the brush helps to create a lather. However, I have completely ditched foaming cleansers from my routine so it makes no sense for me to use electric brushes.

  1. Best mask(s)?

Antipodes Aura mask for dry skin and Oskia Renaissance Mask for glowy skin.

  1. Best multi-use?

To be honest, I can’t think of one right now. I can only mention Weleda Skin Food because it’s a very rich cream for the face, for the body and it can also be used as a face mask (although I wasn’t enthusiastic about it!).

  1. Favourite brand?

Tough question! If I have to pick one I’d choose Oskia, although I haven’t tried their whole skincare range. I like everything about them though: the packaging, the formulations, their philosophy and brand image.

  1. Best spot treatment?

It’s hard for me to say it because I don’t often have spots and when I do I just leave them where they are. I’d say clay masks and tea tree oil are without doubt good antidotes. Oh, and salycilic acid too.

  1. Favourite skincare routine step?

I love cleansing my skin in the morning and after I’ve removed my make-up. I have an obsession with balms and flannels and I’m convinced there’s no better way for me to cleanse! I just love massaging oils on my face and then having my skin feel soft, clean and hydrated.

  1. Skincare wish list?

That would be too long to say in a few lines. I’d say Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, TheOrdinary Lactic Acid because I’ve never tried this kind of acid on my skin and also Votary Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil.

I hope you liked reading my answers and that you’ll follow me and give your own answers too!

xxx

Silvia

 

My minimal make-up collection
Make-up

My minimal make-up collection

You may not be aware but I’m not an obsessive fan of make-up and I do not wear a huge amount of it. Call me crazy, but I never wear concealer (I don’t even own one), put nothing on my eyebrows and I never wear eye shadow, although I have an old customized Mac palette which I got at a time when I thought I’d have used it. To be honest, it’s partly because I’m not very skilled at putting make-up on. But either way I really don’t like wearing a lot of make-up. I’m a fan of a more natural look and I feel more comfortable knowing that the people around me don’t have the impression I’ve got loads of make-up on. That’s just me.

When it comes to make-up, unlike with skincare, I’m a minimalist. I like having just a handful of products, only one per category, but I want them to be good, high quality and I want to be able to trust them, knowing that they won’t disappoint me.

Here are the ones I’ve used through the last year or so:

I always start off with foundation, of course. The one I have been using through all this year is the Nars Sheer Glow foundation. I’m not in love with it, as I was with Chanel Perfection Lumiere, but after almost a year of use I’m satisfied overall with it. Yes, one year. I don’t buy more than one foundation per year and I only use a small amount of it to cover my whole face, usually one pump is enough. I use my hands to apply it, not only because I love the feeling but it also allows me to reach every corner. Added to that, using a brush or a sponge makes you waste a lot of product. Nars Sheer Glow has a medium coverage, buildable if you use more. It doesn’t make me look cakey and is definitely light, although not as light as the Chanel one I used throughout 2015.

It has a “sheer finish” which means it’s not going to be you top choice if you have oily skin. I have the kind of skin that works well with it so I’m happy. Also, it helps a bit if you have dry skin, it won’t enhance your dry patches (which you should try to get rid of anyway) and it will not make your skin feel tight. Of course it’s fundamental that you start with a good base of serum + moisturizer + SPF (serum is optional of course, moisturizer is not!). I then follow up with the Givenchy Prisme Visage Perfecting Powder. It’s a mixture of 4 different shades, but the difference is very light and when you use your brush it mixes all of them. It’s almost translucent, to be honest. I don’t see any change in the shade of my face, luckily. It’s a setting powder that helps control shine, just like most powders. It’s very simple to be honest and it does what it says. The packaging is beautiful – the pictures don’t do it justice!

After the base it’s time to put some make-up on the eyes. As I said at the beginning I use very little make-up. I usually use Make-Up Forever Aqua Eyes pencils because they are long lasting and will not smudge under any condition (tears, sweat, rain, they are amazing!). I have used them for years in different colours and I always buy this brand. My favourite is the classical brown one, brown being my favourite natural colour for the eyes. I use it on my eyelid inside and outside and sometimes even on the bottom lid. But as I said, I like to look natural and effortless. My next step is mascara, something I absolutely love for the difference it makes. I don’t like to spend too much on mascaras. I’m lucky to have long black lashes, they just need to be curled. My favourite mascaras are from L’Oréal. I’m really enjoying this one at the moment and I’ve used all of those from the Voluminous line. They work really well.

After the eyes, it’s time for the cheeks. I have this blush from Sleek which I got in July after my beloved Nars Amour fell and broke. At the time I didn’t want to spend a lot on a new blush, given that they are all pretty much the same in terms of quality, what changes is the colour range and the packaging. This one is the kind of colour I‘d use every day so I picked it and I didn’t regret my choice. I apply it on the apples of my cheeks and to finish off I use some lip balm on my lips.

Et voilà, I’m done. Ready to go to class (or wherever else!). I know you probably expected something more extensive and perhaps a longer list of products. I have been totally honest, that’s what I do.

Let me also recommend the amazing Real Techniques brushes. My blush brush is 4 years old now and it’s in just as good a condition as when I bought it in Oxford. The other one is newer and it’s the one I use for powder (or bronzer, but I don’t use bronzer in winter).

Here’s my make-up routine, do you like natural looks?

Hope you enjoyed it!

Silvia

 

The Body Shop - Camomile Cleansing Butter review
Reviews Skincare

The Body Shop – Camomile Cleansing Butter review

It has taken me quite a long time to review this great cleansing butter, which unlike what you see in the picture taken months ago, is now running out. It has worked fantastically well for removing my make-up after busy days at work, late nights out (less so!) and I can’t think of a product I prefer using for this purpose.

I know I know, most girls are tempted to use face wipes to remove make-up, especially late at night, but I suggest you try using a balm and a flannel. I don’t even own face wipes. I would never use them because I love the feeling of putting my fingers in the tin, scooping some balm out, rubbing it on the palms of my hands and then massaging my face with oily hands and seeing every trace of mascara melting off. Oh, and the best is yet to come. My favourite part is when I take a clean dry flannel and I put it under hot running water. The hotter the better. I then gently lay it onto my whole face, press and after a few seconds remove it, wiping as I go. I usually repeat this step once or twice, using the back of the flannel and rinsing it again if I want more of that warmth on my face.

Now, a few lines on this product. To be honest there’s not a whole lot to add. I’ve already shared with you how I use it and you’ll have noticed that I only use it to remove make-up and not as a first cleanser (if this concept is new to you read this post). It does its job wonderfully and it leaves my skin soft, clean and ready for the next step, which most of the time is a second cleanse. It only costs £10 and I’d say it’s good value for a product of this kind. You can easily compare this one to the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm. I think the advantage of the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter is that it has a lovely, delicate and flowery smell, at least those are the adjectives that spring to mind!

Lastly, I should say that I’m yet to try a real high-end balm/butter. I know that as the price goes up, you often get products with better-quality ingredients. One exception in my opinion is the famous Eve Lom Cleansing Balm, which is made up of an inexpensive mineral oil and yet retails for £40 – it’s still a mystery to me! I feel like more luxurious ingredients would be better used for a second cleanse or a morning cleanse. But that’s something we’ll go over another time. I have only ever tried a sample of the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and if I was to spend £38 on a cleanser, I’d feel it was a waste just to use it to remove a layer of foundation and mascara from my face. It deserves more, in my opinion of course.

Have you tried this butter? Do you have a favourite one?

Let me know!

xxx

Silvia

 

my current realist skincare wishlist
Skincare

My current (realistic) skincare wishlist

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all well! I’ve had a very busy January and I couldn’t post as much as I wanted to. Now that I’ve finished my first-semester exams, my goal is to write as many posts as possible over the next weeks and months. But of course, I believe in quality over quantity so I’ll be sure there is a good deal of thought behind each new post.

I had wanted to write this one for a long time; my friend Siobhán actually wrote a similar post at the beginning of the year and I told her I was planning to write something similar.

Now I want to put all of my thoughts together and share with you 10 products I’m hoping to purchase through this year and which fit my budget. A dream has already come true, I got my first two Leahlani products from GreenSoulCosmetics and I look forward to sharing my first impression of them with you.

Caroline Hirons loves it, Tophcam loves it and I’m yet to find someone who doesn’t. I wouldn’t normally spend this much on a toner, but if it does more than just toning, I’m willing to spend a bit extra. Plus, the travel-size one is reasonably priced.

I’ve already used this – and I loved it! You’ll find a review here. I miss this product so much and I will repurchase it very soon. Nothing compares, guys, nothing compares.

You may not know this English green brand, but some of my trusted Insta friends love it and so I really want to try their products. This set includes two balms and one cleansing balm.

A simple hydrating toner I’ve heard good reviews of.

A very rich moisturizer I’ve missed during these last few weeks, when I’ve had arid and dehydrated skin. If you want to read my review after using a sample of it, click here.

THE cleansing oil. Pricey, but on top my cleansing oils wish-list.

Affordable and milky, for people prone to redness like me. Ren is a trusted brand and I’m willing to give it a try.

Jordan is lovely, everyone loves his three products and he will launch many more later this year. It’s like buying something your trusted friend has created from start to finish, almost entirely with his own hands. I’m just waiting for the right time and I’m a bit wary of the customs fee, because they only ship from the US.

Just because it includes a mini size of their Miracle Cleanser. I have only smelled it in store but I wanted to massage the white cream on my face. Will I ever do it? The price is a bit of a barrier.

This balm is on my list and I was very close to buying it with my first Leahlani order. I ended up getting the Mermaid Mask and the Champagne Serum. I was undecided until the last minute so I’m hoping to try this one as well in the future.

 

Have you tried any of these? I hope you enjoyed this post. I tried to stay realistic and didn’t include brands that are completely out of my price range!

xox

Silvia

favourite skincare products 2016
Monthly favourites Reviews Skincare

Favourite skincare products of 2016

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote, almost a year ago, was about my favourite products in 2015. I remember writing it but never ended up posting it because I kept putting off opening the actual blog. By the time I opened it – in April – it felt like it was no longer newsworthy!

That said, I absolutely love this kind of post, where people stop to think about the year that has just passed and the products they have loved using. Here are mine. I hope you enjoy reading it.

This is certainly one of my top 3 discoveries. I love it. It’s a great night oil that makes your skin look radiant and feel hydrated in the morning. And it does it for a very good price. Highly recommended. And no, it didn’t cause any breakouts, nor did it clog my pores.

This was one of the best discoveries of 2016. A rich cream cleanser that leaves the skin clean and nourished. This is perfect for people with normal to dry skin and who love massaging the cleanser for a while and removing it with a flannel. The smell is incredible and it is one of the cheapest products you’ll find mentioned on the blog.

I wrote about this mask soon after I bought it (here). Now, after two months of use I can only reaffirm what I already said. This is the “make my skin look glow/healthy/great” kind of mask. It does exfoliate the skin slightly, but it doesn’t sting nor does it irritate. I find that my skin is very calm afterwards and I use it every time I have to go and meet my boyfriend at the airport. That says it all!

The best mask I have ever tried. Soothes the skin and leaves it deeply nourished and calm. My prone-to-redness skin loves it. Read more here.

A staple in my skincare cabinet. A must for dehydrated skin. You need to use a moisturizer afterwards as this gel goes deep down into your skin but needs something to seal it on the top. A pea size quantity every day is enough; it absorbs super fast and lasts for months and months.

Another good hydrating boost. I really like it but it’s completely different from Hydraluron. It has the texture and feel of a moisturizer. I was lucky enough to win 5 of these with a giveaway (first time in my life!). It’s quite expensive in my opinion, so you may want to try a sample first or consider cheaper options.

  • Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum | £ 2.50

This is a huge revelation for me. I first heard of it from Sali Hughes (read here). And if you know her, you know that she’s one to be taken seriously, plus she has dry skin so she knows what our type of skin needs. And this £ 2 serum just delivers what it says. It sometimes makes my skin feel like it doesn’t need moisturizer on top (though I still apply a thin layer of it).

A good toner for those who either want to soothe the skin, Zinc is great for that, or get an opaque look. This really works great if you have oily skin to help you get that “matte” look. Not recommended if you want something to hydrate your skin.

One of the cheapest SPF I have tried lately but also the best one. It was love at first sight. Very light, and its moisturising effect makes me think I don’t need a layer of moisturiser underneath. It doesn’t leave a white cast and doesn’t make my skin look shiny; it also absorbs quite quickly. I was very happy with it.

Just a good toner. Refreshing, hydrating and inexpensive.

I didn’t think I could include a physical exfoliator on this list but this one is just great for when you want to exfoliate your skin before a good pampering session. It’s expensive but if you can afford it, it’s just perfect at doing what it’s supposed to do. It doesn’t leave the skin irritated or red at all; at least that’s what I found.

This is the balm I reach for when I want to remove my make-up while giving my face a good massage. It smells good and leaves the skin soft. As with every cleansing balm/butter, it turns into an oil when massaged on the skin. It must be always removed with a damp flannel, of course.

Last but not least. I absolutely love this moisturizer. This was my second jar of it and I’m sure there will be more. My skin loves it, it’s fast absorbing and creates a wonderful make-up base. Suitable for all kind of skin. Full review here.

Have you ever tried any of these products?

Let me know in the comments 

xxx

Silvia

ps. Please, follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin, it means a lot 🙂

Me

My Christmas wishes to you

You may have noticed I didn’t post anything Christmas-related on this blog.

First of all, you’ll all know I don’t post very often anyway (naughty me!), but I also believe there were already so many Christmassy posts – with ‘gift ideas’ etc. – out there that I thought there was no point jumping on the bandwagon!

But this post is different, and it’s my way of wishing you a very Happy Christmas. I’m not the greatest fan of it, I suppose not that many people today see it as the religious celebration it originally was and I fear that people just associate it with packed shops and that pressure of buying gifts for your family, friends and sort-of friends.

I remember a few years ago, while in high school, I told two of my closest friends at the time that I thought we could save ourselves some money, and not bother buying anything for one another. I thought it totally made sense, in times of economic crisis, to save that money and avoid buying something none of us really needed. I can clearly remember how they looked at me – it was as if I had committed heresy! Clearly that wasn’t the outcome I’d hoped for but their presents have outlasted our friendship and they still sit somewhere at my parents’ house under a layer of dust.

Putting that little anecdote to one side. I really hope you’ll all receive what you asked for this Christmas. Above all, however, remember that the greatest gift you’ll ever have is love for yourself. I know it doesn’t sound as exciting as “I got the new iPhone 7”, but if you have it, the world is yours and nothing will compare to it.

Love yourself and love everyone around you, and nothing will ever reach that level. The second greatest gift is to have someone to love and who loves you, whether it’s your parents, your boyfriend or girlfriend, a member of your family or your loyal friends (one good friend is better than many lousy ones).

Also, at the risk of sounding more cynical, New Year’s resolutions tend not to last. A positive change in your life can come at any moment, it doesn’t need to happen on 1 January. But if there’s something new you want to do – to make you feel better or improve you as a person – do it right now. If you have the desire and determination, why not?!

I hope you all have a great festive season, that you get to share some time with all your loved ones and that you’ll find happiness in the simple things as well as what’s under your Christmas tree.

xxx

Silvia

peter thomas roth masks review
Reviews Skincare

Peter Thomas Roth mini masks magic kit // A review

Hi everyone,

I was supposed to post a lot more on December but unfortunately, I have been very busy with life and university. I guess a lot of you fellow bloggers experience the same: lots of ideas but very little time to bring them to life!

In this post I’ll talk about my experience with these 3 face masks. I had 3 travel sizes which were big enough to last me for around 5-6 applications each. I got my travel kit from Sephora, but you can find these kits here too, and here.

I had seen this mask everywhere on Instagram and it was the main reason why I wanted to try this trio. It’s an exfoliating mask which does its job through Pumpkin Enzymes, AHA and tiny crystals for an extra physical exfoliation. I followed the instructions and applied this to my skin, rubbing it gently to spread it all over my face and mixing it with the water on my fingertips. After the first minute this mask started to burn like crazy, and I didn’t go mad because I already expected this from the reviews I had read on this product. I have had the same feeling every single time I have used this and, trust me, it does hurt and makes you feel like something is going wrong. Nevertheless, the pain goes away after a couple of minutes and when you wash it off your skin is super smooth and you don’t feel any pain at all. That said, my skin is not calm and redness-free as it is with, for example, the Oskia Renaissance Mask. Quite the contrary: my skin always ends up red afterwards, so I’d say if you have sensitive skin you should stay away from this.

The verdict: A great exfoliating mask, but not as gentle as I want these kind of masks to be. Also, I found the micro crystals to be a little bit too harsh on the skin. I’d say this product isn’t really for me, but I see why so many people like it.

This mask is supposed to “naturally nourish, hydrate, soothe, calm and de-puff” and it comes in a gel-like formula. You can also put it in the fridge for a cooling-effect when you apply it. I tried doing that and it was a lovely feeling during the application, but it doesn’t affect the effectiveness of the mask. For me, the best time to test these kinds of masks is when I get out of the shower. That’s when my skin is at its worst, with huge pores, feeling dehydrated and tight. I expected a lot more form this, to be honest. It doesn’t relieve my skin. It does feel better after leaving it on for about 20 minutes, but it’s not the same feeling I get with the Aura mask (read here) which is on a totally different planet.

The verdict: good but not great. I don’t think it does enough for dry skin, though it could be good for people who don’t need that much nourishment and just want a light hydrating effect. In my opinion, the product doesn’t merit the price tag.

I’ll be short with this: it did absolutely nothing to my skin (almost).  It has the same texture as the Cucumber Gel mask and it’s supposed to “protect and stimulate the skin cells responsible for rejuvenation”. I’ve used it a good 5-6 times and I have only seen a slight difference in my skin when I applied it and left it on for about half an hour. In that occasion my skin did feel calmer and softer than before, but I definitely expect more from a mask. I wouldn’t recommend it, as I believe that this mask only has a nice smell but no relevant benefits for any kind of skin, or they’re too small to notice.

The verdict: Love the pink colour, but the mask honestly did almost nothing to my skin. I personally wouldn’t recommend it and wouldn’t purchase it. Or if you can, try a sample first. That’s always the best way to see if it works for you or not.

Have you tried any of these? Let me know your opinions!

Thanks for reading, as always.

xxx

Silvia

peter thomas roth masks review

My Black Friday skincare haul
Reviews Skincare

My Black Friday skincare haul

Hi everyone,

I was waiting Black Friday with great trepidation, not only because it’s my first BF since I opened the blog, but also because there were a few things I had been keeping an eye on, hoping to get them with a great Black Friday deal.

I was very excited and curious to see what kind of offers my favourite skincare websites would offer. Almost every brand I know offered (and some are still offering) a discount on their product line, some up to 30%, and I didn’t want to miss this chance. So, without further ado, here’s what I got:

From Beautybay.com

As some of you will know, I’m a huge fan of this cleanser which I consider to be one of the best I have ever tried. When I looked at the price I just couldn’t resist getting it, as I knew an offer like this wouldn’t have come around twice. I have a detailed review of this here, but I’m sure most of you already know how good this product is.

I’ve had my eye on this face mist for some time and have seen it recommended by some of the bloggers I trust the most. It’s supposed to refresh and hydrate all skin types. As I’ve said countless times, I don’t expect too much from a face mist but at the same time it’s a step in my skincare routine that I never miss. Even so, I try not to spend much on it. This was the best option, plus everyone who has tried it loves it.

From BravuraLondon.com

This toner has often been dubbed a “Pixi Glow Tonic” dupe and, having loved the Pixi acid toner, I wanted to try this one as well. It contains glycolic acid (in a small percentage, of course) which helps to brighten the skin and in the fading of scars and dark spots. I’m also pleased to help a small brand like Bravura grow and I love how they are offer great chemical exfoliators with a low price tag. I can’t wait to use this on my skin at night for a light daily exfoliation, which every skin needs!

After having finished my second jar of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, I was in desperate need of a new moisturizer to fall in love with. I also didn’t want to spend too much on it, because I believe there’s no point in splurging on a simple daily moisturizer. This one is designed for sensitive and rosacea-prone skin, contains a high percentage of aloe vera, is great at hydrating the skin and had the perfect price tag. I will update you soon on this.

This is a gift for my lovely friend Fiona, a very small gift. As the name says, it’s a chemical salicylic acid peeling. I already have one of these but, unfortunately, I haven’t used it often because I rarely have breakouts. If you do, you may want to give this product a try, as so many people have found it to be the perfect spot killer for when their skin is angry.

From VictoriaHealth.com

The yešti collection | £30 £76

When I looked at the price Victoria Health offered for these 3 products together I couldn’t believe my eyes. Considering that Sanskrit Saponins on its own would cost £23, the deal was very attractive. I couldn’t resist. Firstly, I wanted to try as many Niod products as possible, but also the prospect of 3 new face masks was very intriguing. As you may know, if you’re familiar with the brand, their products are just…different from all the skincare products on the market!

As with the Oskia Cleanser, this is a repurchase for me. I didn’t intend to it again, but it was part of the deal and it’s a cleanser I have overall enjoyed using, with some good results. A full review will come soon.

MM is a face mask designed to reduce the size of pores and to “restore their appearance to an ideal state [..] without drying”. It does so thanks to the mastic tree gum which binds to congestion and it’s recommended to be used in the morning, once a week.

MC is a tightening mask to be used once a week. According to the website, the “myrrh gives visible and immediate firmness to the skin” and, quoting one of my favourite bloggers it “leaves my skin looking supremely healthy”, which is reason enough to try this product soon.

I feel like I’m the last to join The Ordinary party, I had followed the launch of this skincare range and really wanted to try something, anything from it! I had wanted to try Retinol on my skin for a long time, but most of the products which contain this were out of my budget. This one was only £8 and, according to some of my trusted skincare bloggers, it just as good as the most expensive ones. This serum, however, does not contain a pure Retinol formula but “two forms of next-generation retinoid” which helps with skin aging, blemishes and improves skin’s texture. More on this soon.

Did you get any new skincare item during Black Friday? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

xxx

Silvia

ps. Are you following me on Bloglovin and Instagram? 🙂