IT COSMETICS Your Skin Bbut Better CC+ SPF50 UVA PA++++
An old favourite. It’s lightweight formula that has light-medium coverage and looks so nice on my skin. It looks smoother than a lot of foundations I tried and it sort of blurs the pores a bit. They have so many shades and in some places it’s so cheap online. It doesn’t suit me when my skin is very dry in winter, but for the rest of the year I love it.
BENEFIT Porefessional Pearl Pore Minimising Radiance Face Primer
PIXI +C VIT Brightening Perfector
This is one of those creams that has mini beads with colour that bust when rubbed on the skin, but unlike the rest such tinted moisturisers I’ve tried, it’s thicker and meant to be used (also) as a primer. I’ve had several such products and all ended up too dark for me, but this one is least dark. I can only see it doesn’t match brilliantly on the edges of my face, particularly hairline where some of the darker tint gets stuck, but otherwise it blends in well. It creates a beautiful finish, a lovely radiant glow without looking greasy. Pores aren’t highlighted despite the shine and that’s almost impossible to find, though I wouldn’t say it’s hides them, just blurs a bit. It’s quite a thick cream and it takes some time to blend it in or get the beads to burst, but it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin at all. This contains some vitamin C (ascorbic acid) together with ferulic acid, as well as squalane, caffeine and some extracts. It’s a great product for those who don’t like makeup or wearing much of it, as it just makes the skin look a bit better. It has no coverage, it just add as healthy glow or a slight tint. I use it under foundation as a smoothing, glowy primer.
TREND IT UP SENSITIVE Lipliner
I think this is being discontinued, as it had a red sticker and it only cost 1 €. It’s a beautiful natural pink shade, formula is creamy and not drying or tight on the lips. But that creaminess comes at a price that it doesn’t last long on the lips, as it’s less “sticky” than their lipliners in regular collection. I love the colour though and I’m thinking about picking one or two more.
CATRICE Hop, Hop, Hooray! Limited Edition Mini Nail Lacquer
C04 Lavender Bouquet
This is from Catrice’s collection of nail polishes for Easter, so it might be already gone. The formula is so nice for a pastel – smooth and fully opaque with the first coat. This lilac colour is perfect for spring.
AFRODITA COSMETICS Skin Specialist Vitamin C Anti-Age Serum
OLAPLEX No. 0
I was asked to do an update after a while of using this. Number one that is really starting to bother me – battery is terrible. You’d expect it to last a while if you don’t use it for a few days, but so many times I picked it up and it was empty. Foreo says one charge should last up to 40 treatments, but it’s much less. Once I had a mask already on because I recently charged it and naturally assumed it’s close to full, and it didn’t even power up for a second. So the battery is one thing I need to be cautious about before doing a session. I only charged Luna mini 2 once so far and I use it every 2nd or 3rd day, but that hasn’t got power-draining lights and a heater. As far as the rest goes, I have nothing different to report as before. Their masks have so much essence and UFO helps most of it absorb quickly. I usually do 2 or occasionally even 3 treatments at once (last just for the neck) to use up all the liquid in the pack, so I do one treatment and then squeeze the leftover essence on the sheet and do it again. My skin is super soft the next day and hydrated, but that’s about all I notice. I use too many other products (vitamin C serum, A-game with retinal, Gua Sha…) that I’d be able to pinpoint this is the sole reason my skin is looking good, but up to before I started taking collagen and ceramide supplements it was nice (the latter two made my skin worse for the second time, but this time I won’t continue to waste my money for months like last time). I don’t know if the lights make a difference, all I know is there’s some research red led lights may help boost collagen production, but that’s based on much stronger professional lights. I like to think that this is at least slowing aging in some way. So worth it, not worth it? I like using it, it helps absorption so much and my skin feels nice the next day – it’s an excellent addition to sheet masks. It’s small and portable, and you can use it with any sheet mask, but I honestly can’t tell you how much the LED lights do, I think for that some more time needs to pass to see its effect. I don’t have that many imperfections to begin with, but this device also has the option of blue LED light, which is used to treat oily skin with acne.
BALEA Beauty Expert Liquid Peeling 2% BHA
Balea’s new skin care line. This was the only product I was able to get so far, but there’s also a retinol + bakuchiol serum, a PHA cleanser, an AHA peeling body lotion and a niacinamide body lotion. Peeling contains 2% salicylic acid, so we finally have a The Ordinary (plus other copycats) equivalent in drugstores here (Revox, another TO copycat, doesn’t have such a product here). It’s a rich toner like product, but also somewhat almost oily-feeling. There’s this heavy-greasy feeling layer on the skin and it takes a while for it to absorb. When it does, the skin feels dry-to-the-touch enough that I can start applying other skin care. It’s a weird type of texture to apply first after cleansing and if I start applying products over it before it dries, I feel like it acts as barrier for other products to absorb. It’s an ok product, just not ideal for people like me who often have no time/patience to wait for it to sink in. I expected something lighter, such as COSRX Blackhead liquid, but given how easily available it is and affordable, I won’t complain much. My skin is currently clear, so I have no idea how well it works on blemishes, but it hasn’t done anything for my blackheads short time I have it. I got no reaction from this, but my skin is far from sensitive.
BALEA Niacinamide Day Cream SPF 30
Niacinamide Tages Crème
This product combines two things I want in my day cream – niacinamide and SPF. It has 10% of niacinamide, so equivalent to their popular serum that I still haven’t tried (I only have the AHA version). It’s kind of a typical cream that sits on the skin for a long time and stays tacky for a while, but it’s not a heavy, rich moisturiser, it’s just one that doesn’t sink in all that well (except when my skin has a drier-than-usual day). I don’t mind that on my dry skin, but for the rest, you may need to only apply small amounts. There is sunscreen shine at this one. I’ve tried to apply a large amount, to test for those who are interested in it as a sunscreen and want to apply the recommended amount and it doesn’t really work that well because, it feels too much on the skin and it needs to be blended to a thinner layer.
SUBRINA Butter Colour
1030 Cendre Blonde
I usually have a stash of Garnier Color Naturals 9.1 and 8.1 shades in my stash, but this last time I was bleaching my hair, I realised I forgot to buy them, so I used one of the Subrina colours I have in my work stash. It’s actually not suited for bleached hair, but I didn’t bleach that well this last time and I had orange tones, so I thought this was a better choice than the rest the lighter blonde shades I have. It’s got super intense blue tones in it, in fact I misjudged how bleached my hair was and I left this on too long (though I swapped the developer for the much weaker 3% one), so the result was a bit on the green side, but overall close to Garnier’s 8.1. When I washed it the first time after colouring, those tones went away and it’s now a natural medium blonde. Orange tones are completely covered. Subrina’s blonde colours have super strong neutralising tones (either purple, blue or green) that cool down/cover the strong yellow and brassy tones, but this was my first time using this shade and I was surprised to see it’s not their usual very light blonde cool shade. I like it, though I didn’t expect it to be darker than the colour I had before. Colour is ammonia free, so it has none of that hair colour smell, actually it smelled nice (floral scent), but not strongly. My hair needed some care after colouring because of bleaching, so instead of the mini added conditioner I used Joico K-Pack. This is a high lift colour, by the way, so a shade that is suitable for light brown hair, which is pretty dark for a blonde hair colour (light brown shades are usually numbered 05 or 500 or 5.0 if you don’t know what exactly Subrina means by light brown). For lighter hair I’d pick their 1020 or 1080 shade, which have neutralising tones more suited for lighter hair (they are like 20/2 and 80/8 on the picture below).
SUBRINA Charm Hair Colours
These three products managed to get into my makeup/skin care drawer. Primer hasn’t earned it’s spot 100% yet, but it’s an interesting one because it’s different from what I’ve tried so far and I think it makes the foundation look a bit better, though I haven’t noticed it prolonging staying power. As much as a ranted about the pH lip products and how boring Essence & Catrice became, I really like the formula of Cranberry Lip Oil. It’s so comfortable, feels smooth when I rub my lips together and is nice for dry lips. Daily Drop is a weak vitamin C serum that is very light, so I like using it in the morning, plus the syrupy orange scent is nice.
TREND IT Up Sensitive Balance & Cover Make-Up
Horrid foundation, I don’t recall trying anything so bad. It’s possible this bottle was used by some idiots as a tester and maybe it dried out a bit, but that’s not really an excuse because I had super old foundations that were just fine. First time I tried it just over Cezanne High Moist, which is a hydrating toner, so light on the skin with no potential for pilling and it was just not possible to apply this smoothly. So I though, ok it’s fast drying, I’ll try something very moisturising under it and got the same result, but just a bit worse, which I didn’t think was possible. It’s so patchy and it peels/flakes – it’s beyond terrible. Complete waste of 3 €.
SUN DANCE Matte Sonnenfluid SPF 50
Many years ago, 9 to be precise, Sun Dance had a mattifying fluid that was light, not sticky-tacky and comfortable, though it had some sunscreen shine, it wasn’t that intense. So naturally they discontinued it and ever since then they bring out a “mattifying” sunscreen every year that’s much thicker and I just can’t imagine this on oily skin. Why call it matte, if it’s nowhere near matte? And I have dry skin. Now, it’s not at all terrible – there no white cast and it has that lovely Sun Dance sunscreen smell that I love, but it’s the heaviest, most shiny sunscreen in my collection. Also it’s not possible to apply 2 fingers worth of product. I’m not that disappointed by this sunscreen, I’m disappointed by DM/Sundance for not trying anymore.
TOO FACED Natural Eye Shadow Palette – Another very basic looking nude palette, but that’s what I want. I have the original Chocolate palette and quality of eyeshadows is impressive, so I assume this one is about the same.
TARTE Tartelette in Bloom – This has been on my wishlist for a long time and I still see it’s one of the most sold palettes on Sephora. It’s another basic neutral palette.
GOSH Mineral Powder – Someone recommended me this on IG and we got a new Gosh stand in a local Müller, so I gave it a quick test and liked what I see. Shade 002 is light and it looked like it has a nice level of coverage. It’s been a while, since I’ve had a proper mineral foundation and I read two completely conflicting reviews, but one was dealing with oiliness and I don’t really have oils coming through during the day, so it might be ok.
L’ORÉAL PARIS Midnight serum Age Perfect Cell Renew – Ingredients of this looks nothing special and it has alcohol high on the list, but it has so many great reviews I’m just curious. Sometimes products with unimpressive formulas just work. Some say it feels like Estee Lauder ANR, which I had and loved.
LA ROCHE POSAY Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel SPF50++ and Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50 + – I love my Garnier Fluid, but LRP has a new state of the art filter Mexoryl400 in UVMune version, which sounds like a good investment to make. I hear Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel SPF50+ is mat and after buying SunDance I realised I don’t want to bother with shiny SPFs.
MISSHA Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++ – I had a tester of this a while ago and liked it a lot. It has a velvety dry-to-the-touch finish and it reminded me of Biore I used to buy.
NIVEA Body Souffle Cherry Blossom – I have just one body moisturiser left and it’s one with lactic acid high on the list, so not for upcoming sunny days. I had this in the coconut version and though I disliked the scent, I remember it being really good for dry skin and it has more long-term effect than all other body moisturisers I’ve tried, apart from the Q10 Firming lotion. Despite the name, it’s not too light.
NIVEA Body Milk Firming Q10 Plus Vitamin C – another very impressive body moisturiser I already had. This also made my skin softer, which none other moisturiser did. I didn’t love the texture as much as Souffle’s, though.
OLAPLEX No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum – Latest Olaplex product, this one is light serum that’s unlike n.6 and n.8 silicone free. I have all Olaplex products, so I plan to try this one too.
ECOOKING Peeling Maske – I had a mini pot and it’s the only AHA mask I actually like. TO 30% AHA does nothing on me, but this finally felt like something on my hardy skin. I want a small pot again because I’m very forgetful when it comes to acids and I only use them when something is wrong with my skin, so a travel size will be more than enough again.