I have finally tried NYX Butter Gloss

NYX Butter Gloss

Here they are. My very first, much raved about NYX Butter Gloss lip glosses. Two of them. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to trying to order these babies sooner – after all, people have been writing about them for ages. You can find a huge amount of reviews, swatches and what not online about these glosses, but hey, I thought I would toss in my two cents as well. Of course, we don’t sell NYX in Finland for some reason, so I had to order mine online, so they were delivered from Sweden, where it is actually sold – even has its own boutique! Whyyyyy, Finland, whyyyyy?!

NYX Butter Gloss Maple Blondie and Cherry Pie

At least my order came very quickly, along with a body spray from Victoria’s Secret (also not sold in Finland) and an EOS lip balm – the minty one (also not sold in Finland – I think). Of course, I wanted to buy all the shades, but in case I would hate them for some reason, I opted for only two. And of course, I don’t have like 200 euros to quickly throw into makeup. Bummer. The two shades I chose were Maple Blondie, which is described as a peachy color on NYX website, but which looked pink to my eyes online, and Cherry Pie which is simply red.

NYX Butter Gloss swatches Maple Blondie and Cherry Pie

I was quite surprised by the amount of pigment these glosses pack! They’re no average glosses now are they? I chose these two shades on purpose. I wanted to see if the quality and the pigment would be varying between different colors, which I thought would be a reasonably valid concern after witnessing many lip glosses simply not have any pigment when it comes down to lighter shades. My worries were quickly washed away as I applied my first layer of Maple Blondie – it was pigmented and I could even layer it a bit. Also, the shade looks like a very pinky peach to me, which works out fine for me as peach is not my number one hue, but when mixed with pink, it works quite nicely!

NYX Butter Gloss Maple Blondie

As far as the texture and consistency goes, I quite like these two. They feel quite light and moisturizing on the lips, very pleasant, a bit like lip balm. There’s little to no “stickiness” and they apply quite easily and smoothly. As said, you can layer these up for a more opaque look or wear them as just a bit of color and shine. The wear time isn’t amazing, but then again, these are glosses, so I don’t really expect it. Because these both smell so good, I don’t mind reapplying! On the plus side, they also fade really nicely and evenly, even if they do so unfortunately quickly (after about 2 hours, the difference is already noticeable).

NYX Butter Gloss Cherry Pie

In general, I really like these glosses. They definitely go straight to the top of my lip gloss favorites – if not to the top of all lip makeup! Funny, considering the short wear time. I think that NYX is definitely on to something here though. They’ve even managed to make these smell so good that they become addictive…! Out of the two, I would have to say Cherry Pie is my favorite, because it’s a great way to wear a classic red lip without looking overly severe. I love red lipsticks, but I often feel like wearing the red lip just needs a different setting than say… office cubicle. This gloss allows me to go for the red, but in a more subtle way – even if the shine is kind of eye catching!

Here are a couple of pictures of me wearing the shades (at the office). Excuse the terrible hair and just look at the shades!

Which one is your favorite? Do you have a Butter Gloss collection?

Lumene Clear It Up! Deep Purifying Wash Face & Eyes

Lumene Clear It Up!

What a monster name! Regardless, this was one of the products I received from September’s LivBox. Basically, the product is designed for “young skin, against pimples and impurities”, so as a woman turning 31 this week, I may not be in the target group, but I decided to give this a try anyway since I was sort of on the market for a simple cleanser for when I wash my face in the shower. Here’s what I thought!

Lumene Clear It Up! Deep Purifying Wash Face & Eyes (6,90 € / 150 ml)

Packaging: Clearly targeted for a younger audience, as all of the Clear It Up! -line’s products are super colorful and modern-looking. A 150 ml plastic tube with a very simple look.

Scent: Soft, reasonably mild, slightly fruity.

Consistency: A pretty much clear gel, doesn’t foam. Soft and smooth on the skin.

For whom: Targeted at teens, perhaps early 20’s, for those who suffer from impurities.

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What do I think: I was really surprised by this product. I was expecting a very strongly scented, highly foaming, skin drying kind of a mess to come out, but instead I got a softly scented (apricot comes to mind), non-foaming and non-drying cleanser that does a great job at washing up your makeup including eye makeup (though not my extra long wearing liner). I was so sure that this would be a miss with me, being a product designed for teens, but either my skin is acting younger than I am or the product is more versatile than advertized, because I can’t think of negative things to say about this! It does a good job cleansing, but after shower my skin doesn’t feel tight or uncomfortable, which often happens with this type of cleansers. My skin is mixed, pretty normal skin that tends to go a bit oily throughout the day and this worked just fine for me!

Would I purchase: I don’t think the price is bad at all, I think it’s very affordable and you need less of this product at a time than you might think. If I were in a pinch to find a cleanser for a trip or something, this would quickly be my number one choice, since it’s available at supermarkets and it’s efficient enough to take off all of my makeup. I also enjoy having this type of a product in the shower, so yes, I would purchase this! Props on the scent!

CRUELTY FREE.

Easy & affordable – Urtekram hand creams

Urtekram

I’ve been getting a bit giddy lately as I see more and more natural cosmetics products reaching the shelves of my local super markets to compete with the big brands, like L’Oréal and Nivea. Urtekram, the Danish natural cosmetics brand has especially become prominent in the Finnish market. I like Urtekram as a brand. Their packaging is simple, colorful and modern, which I really appreciate! Stands out nicely amongst all products, not just natural cosmetics.

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I’ve already written about the unscented Urtekram hand cream (above) before here, but I have really been enjoying it at work. It’s fast-drying, well moisturizing and there’s no scent to bother my colleagues either. Recently, I also bought the Aloe Vera version of the Urtekram hand cream, which I took with me for a trip to my mom’s.

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The Aloe Vera hand cream has about the same consistency as its unscented partner and it too absorbs very quickly, leaving the hands moisturized, but also ready for work. The packaging has now acquired the Leaping Bunny symbol as well, which makes me very happy! The Aloe Vera hand cream is also suitable for vegans, which is extremely cool since so many hand creams and lotions in general end up using some animal based ingredients. The Aloe Vera hand cream is loaded up with some nice incredients, like (obviously) aloe vera, almond oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, sweet orange oil, lemongrass oil, magnolia bark extract and vitamin E. The cream is made 25% of organically farmed ingredients – same applies to the unscented version as well.

The Urtekram hand creams go for about 5-6 euros here in Finland, which isn’t too bad for natural cosmetics, in my opinion. Definitely worth the money, I’d say!

Have you tried Urtekram’s hand creams? Do you like them?

Lumene Hydra Drops Moisturizing Foundation review

moisturizing-foundation

A while ago I found myself in a bit of a pickle as I was heading out of town for the weekend. I had planned for a quick stop for some natural deodorant on the way, but as I was shopping for the deo, I realized I had successfully left my kabuki brushes at home, though I had packed my minerals with me. Since buying new brushes from a supermarket didn’t seem like the best idea (especially when the ones that would have been suitable were about 20 euros a pop), I opted for checking out the liquid foundation section. I haven’t really been using liquid foundations for ages and considering that my only worthwhile choices were by Lumene and Natural Code (a slightly more affordable branch of Lumene), I picked up the one Lumene foundation I saw having a shade 0. This foundation happened to be a moisturizing foundation. My skin doesn’t exactly need much moisturizing, but I got it anyway, as I was prepared to just powder the heck out of myself during the weekend…

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Lumene Hydra Drops Moisturizing Foundation (30 ml / 14,90 €)

Packaging: I’ve unfortunately never been a huge fan of the Lumene packaging, it tends to be quite dull and not very luxurious at all. Not something I like to keep on my “beauty desk”, but hey, I didn’t buy it for the looks of it!

Scent: Clean, rather mild. Lumene has always had pretty nice, non-pushy scents in their foundations.

Consistency: Thin, but manageable, super light-weight. Feels refreshing. Best applied with fingers, in my opinion. Contains Finnish spring water.

Coverage: Light, a lot like many BB creams. I haven’t tried layering this up, but I think this is best used as a light, thin layer for skin that doesn’t need much coverage. Does even out the tone of the skin though and leaves the skin looking natural and fresh. I would suggest a primer, if like me, you have a mixed skin. This will leave your skin a bit shiny and I personally need to give my face a light dusting of powder afterwards. I would imagine this to be ideal for its target audience: women with dry skin. Offers SPF 4.

Shade: Of course I would choose shade 0, Vanilla Beige, which is the lightest of them all. In Finland it’s sold in 6 shades, none of which are very dark. Shade 0 looks like a pretty nice, neutral pale hue that would suit most pale skin tones.

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Sampled on my tanned (!) hand.

Durability: With a coat of powder, I have found this to be surprisingly durable, even on my mixed skin. I do have to apply powder on my oilier areas throughout the day, but in general this does seem to manage through the work day pretty well! Primer helps with staying power, of course.

Pros:

  • Light-weight and moisturizing, as promised
  • Looks very natural
  • Doesn’t leave the skin feeling sticky
  • Comes in a very light shade for the palest of the pale
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Not badly priced
  • Not tested on animals (and not sold in China)

Cons:

  • Not suitable for those looking for (thicker) coverage
  • Doesn’t necessarily have a shade for darker skin tones
  • May not be sold around the world
  • Does not (in my opinion) work with oily skin, even though the package says all skin types

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Summary: A very pleasant, light foundation for those with dry skin (or possibly up to mixed skin). Evens out the skin tone and gives you a very lovely, dewy finish. Even though I’m not at the target group of this foundation, I’m loving it more every day as I love how good it makes my skin look. You can really see the hydration – and feel it. It has been leaving my skin looking soft as a baby’s bottom (I hear they are quite soft) while evening out my skin tone quite well. I like the fresh scent, I like how easily and well this applies and blends when applied with fingers (my favorite method) and I appreciate the staying power! I read that this was at one point discontinued and replaced with a Vitamin C -foundation, but due to great demand, this was brought back to the market. No doubt, it was a good call!

Who would I recommend to: Anyone with dry to normal skin at least. Anyone struggling to find a shade pale enough. Anyone looking for a bit of coverage and a more even skin tone while still maintaining a natural look.

Would I repurchase: Yes, especially now that winter is coming (no pun intended) and my skin will likely benefit from some added moisture.

Cattier Paris Perle d’Eau Cleansing Micellar Solution – washing away

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As important as I think it is to remove your makeup well before bed, I’ve still always been on the look out for shortcuts to get it over with quicker. Ever since I tried micellar water for the first time a year or two ago, I fell in love with how quick and easy the makeup removal process was. The first brand I tried was a pharmacy brand, Vichy, but since then I’ve also used up 2 bottles of Nivea’s far less expensive version of micellar water. However, as I have been changing my cosmetics into eco-friendly and natural options, I couldn’t resist ordering my micellar water from certified natural cosmetics brand, Cattier Paris. My decision was further sped on by the fact that the bottle was a big, 300 ml one and not horribly pricey either!

Cattier Paris Perle d’Eau Cleansing Micellar Solution (300 ml / 15,50 €)

Packaging: Simple, pleasant, French/English, mostly two-tone plastic bottle.

Main active ingredients: Organic rose water and organic aloe vera.

Ingredients listed on the bottle: Aqua, Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Water*, Rosa Damascena Water*, Sodium Coco-glucoside Tartrate, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Sweet Almond Oil Polyglyceryl-6 Esters, Lactic Acid, Linalool, Limonene.

Scent: Very fresh, pleasant, barely there. The package says no fragrance, but there is a very subtle one, if you ask me.

Suitable skin types: All.

Product description: “A cleansing solution based on micellar technology and formulated without alcohol or perfume, Perle d’Eau allows perfect face, eye and lips makeup removal while gently liberating the skin from impurities. Its extremely gentle formula, rich in dermo-soothing and hydrating organic rose water and in softening, regenerating and protecting organic aloe vera, refreshes, soothes and purifies the skin. Its ultra-light texture combines the tonic freshness of water with micellar cleansing efficacy to leave the skin perfectly clean, soft and radiant.”

How does it work: As all micellar waters work, you pour some onto a cotton pad and wipe your face clean. You probably need to use more than 1 cotton pad if you’re removing your makeup. For my everyday, full face makeup removal, I tend to need 3 cotton pads. I use this stuff to remove my eye makeup too as this does a pretty good job at that too. I enjoy the fresh, cleansed feeling I get after using this micellar water. It doesn’t seem to dry up my skin, but it doesn’t leave on a film either – just great freshness!

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Who would I recommend this to: Anyone looking for an easy makeup removal option. I would take a bottle of micellar water with me on a trip anyday (which I have) over a package of wipes!

Would I repurchase: Yes, I would. Out of the micellar waters I’ve tried, this one is definitely my favorite and of course, it’s even better when it’s eco certified and cruelty free!

Have you tried micellar waters? Which one is your favorite?

Makeup Monday : Lumene Arctic Sun Bronzer

Lumene Arctic Sun Bronzer

I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to bronzer. The first time ever that I used bronzer was when my makeup was done for me a bit over a year ago by a professional who was showing me the Bare Minerals makeups. Up until then, I had thought bronzer was only for those who were already naturally equipped with a skintone that of J-Lo’s, not us pasty white Patsys like me! I had been terribly afraid of bronzers, convinced that they would make me look like I have dirt stripes on my face – or a really bad case of fake tan face paired with milky white neck. Yuk.

Though the professional makeup artist was able to bring my skin from pasty to healthy with the help of bronzer, I still couldn’t seem to replicate the same look at home. I always ended up with giant brown blotches on my cheeks even though I was sure I was going easy on the stuff. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my bad experiences with bronzer were simply because I had not found the One for me.

When the last LivBox revealed a Lumene Arctic Sun Bronzer amongst its beauty goods, I was positively giddy. The Lumene bronzer was something I had already been eyeing for a while, even nearly bought it once or twice, but I had still been doubtful to commit, due to my past experiences. A quick sampling of the bronzer instantly left me pleasantly surprised! The bronzer wasn’t very dark, but it wasn’t lacking in pigmentation either. It was quite matte and quite subtle and I had a really good feeling about it right then and there!

This bronzer is a perfect match for my light skin. It’s not too brown, it’s not too orange, it’s almost a bit peachy in hue. It gives me a really nice, just slightly sun-kissed look when applied with a large, fluffy brush. It has just the right amount of pigment to make sure I won’t end up overdoing it, but I also don’t have to cake it on. The packaging of the product is very simple, navy blue container with a see-through lid that has a golden rim. It doesn’t look all that expensive, but it’s certainly better than their old containers which were the navy blue, oddly-shaped boxes with plain clear lids and simple LUMENE text on top. It does do a good job displaying the beautiful wavy pattern on the bronzer though!

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Lumene Arctic Sun Bronzer 1 Fresh Day (10g / 14,90 €) (Not necessarily available all around the world.)

Packaging: Simple, feels reasonably durable, doesn’t look expensive, but the bronzer’s lovely wavy pattern is shown well.

Scent: The product is unscented.

Pigment: Perfectly natural-looking, slightly peachy bronzer with a good amount of pigment (yet not so much that you can easily over do it).

How does it work: You don’t need to use a very heavy hand with this product as there’s loads of pigment and the texture is quite soft and easily blendable. Gives even my kind of a pale skin a nice sun-kissed look. The bronzed effect seems to last all day (8-10+ hours) for me without a need to reapply.

Who would I recommend to: Anyone who has a fairly pale to light-medium skin tone, most likely. Anyone looking for a peachy bronzer.

Would I repurchase: After now trying it, yes, I think I would repurchase! The price isn’t bad at all and I really feel like this is a high quality product.

Here I have used the bronzer (along with MUA’s blusher in Lolly) as a part of my last Saturday’s makeup look:

Lavera Organic Mint Pore Refining Moisturising Fluid

 

Lavera Organic Mint Pore Refining Moisturising Fluid (30 ml / 15,50 €)
The product is eco certified and cruelty free.

INCI: Water (Aqua), Alcohol*, Glycerin, Myristyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Tricaprylin, Zinc PCA, Squalane, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Powder*, Xanthan Gum, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract*, Arctium Lappa Root Extract*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Lysolecithin, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Lecithin, Chlorophyllin-Copper-Complex (CI 75810), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Limonene**, Citral**, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Geraniol**.
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture, ** natural essential oils

Packaging: Simple white and green plastic package with a pump. Nothing special, but does look fresh and clean.

Scent: A bit minty, very fresh, herbal.

Consistency: Extremely light pale green emulsion.

How does it work: The light weight emulsion absorbs quickly and leaves the skin delightfully matte and fresh feeling. Works really well under makeup on my normal/mixed skin. According to the product description, this should work on tightening/shrinking the pores and healing skin infections while leaving the skin looking fresh and bright. I would say it does seem to reduce the appearance of my giant pores, somewhat.

Who would I recommend this to: Most definitely to anyone with oily or semi-oily skin and for those who are looking for a very light moisturizer.

Would I repurchase: Yes, especially for summer. I think this will be too light for me during the winter, but for summer this is really good. I love the cooling effect it has and the lightness of it! I bought mine as a package deal with a mask from the same line, but I think this is worth the normal price of 15,50 euros as well.

Flow Organic Himalayan Salt-Geranium Soap

Flow - Organic Himalayan Salt-Geranium Soap

I’m not usually one for soap bars, other than perhaps washing my hands. Bar soaps often have the most heavenly scents, but I’ve been skipping them as I haven’t felt like they’re very hygienic (which is a false assumption, see for instance this article here) and that they end up permanently slimy very quickly. I have several times been touching, sniffing and stroking (not in a creepy way) these soap bars in one of my local eco shops and I’ve always ended up walking away. Hesitantly, but walking away none the less. So what made me finally buy one?

To make it all even more bizarre, I actually ordered mine online without even sniffing it! For some reason, I was just certain that I needed a geranium-scented soap in my life. I figured I would give the eco friendly bar soaps a go, since I’m working on this new, more natural lifestyle. You have to admit, they don’t waste natural resources when it comes to packing materials! All there is, is a simple little paper wrap around the bar of beautiful, light purple soap.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve tried a bar soap. I just kind of always felt like even if they were lathering up and/or gliding nicely on my skin, they always left me squeaky clean in a bad way – completely stripped of moisture. Like I said, I have used bar soap to wash my hands, but I have always preferred liquid soaps, or even better, foam soaps. I was intrigued to see what an organic, natural bar soap would have to offer and what’s even better, all these soaps are made right here in Finland and they are of course cruelty free as well.

Flow Organic Himalayan Salt-Geranium Soap (80 g / 7,90 €)

To be noted: This particular soap is either being discontinued or relaunched in the near future.

Packaging: To call it simple would be an understatement. A single piece of paper is wrapped around the bar of soap. All the necessary information is on the bar, no nonsense.

Main ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil, Himalayan salt, oils from geranium, lavender, ylang ylang, jasmin and orange.

Scent: Subtle, clean, calming, a bit flowery and slightly oriental.

Consistency: This is a very hard and solid bar of soap that does not turn gooey or mushy in the slightest when used. Maintains its shape well as long as it’s left on a suitable platform to dry (so that it can breathe and dry properly). Lathers up, but not into a very rich or creamy lather.

How does it work: The soap bar is recommended for various skin problems (which I don’t really have except for perhaps dry skin) and it feels like it cleanses the skin really well. It does give you that squeaky clean feeling – but only for a moment. The clean feeling remains, but the “squeakyness” quickly vanishes and I’ve noticed that my skin actually feels pretty good after using this soap – especially my elbows, which normally feel quite rough and dry. I have even used this soap on my face a couple of times and amazingly enough, my face doesn’t seem to mind it either!

Who would I recommend this to: Anyone interested in cutting back on the waste left behind, going a bit organic and generally enjoying a lovely scented bath or shower! I’ve also read that people with eczema have even found some relief from this soap, so perhaps that’s also something to consider.

Will I buy again: I would actually love to try several soaps by Flow, perhaps even their shampoo bars, if I’m really brave. They seem to be going through some kind of changes in their line right now, so I’m looking forward to seeing what is to come! I would also purchase this particular soap again.

Check out the Flow’s site here (in English)! They do actually deliver to all of EU, Norway, USA and Canada – and if you e-mail them asking if they ship to your country, they may just as well!

Konjac Sponge

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I love this giant, fluffy sponge so much – and I’m not alone. Several beauty bloggers have been singing praises to this sponge for months, so in a way, I was a bit late in getting mine! I ordered mine online and I’ve now been using it for about 3 weeks, give or take. I’ve really been able to use it for about 2 weeks, since during the move it just wasn’t very practical.

I have to share with you my experiences with this sponge, because for me, it may seriously be the beauty product of the year.

What is the Konjac Sponge?

The konjac plant, or the konjac potato (konnyaku) is an Asian plant, which is about 97% water. The plant itself is edible, rich in minerals and low in calories. The konjac’s pH is neutral, which balances out the skin when used as a sponge. The konjac plant has been used for over 1500 years as medicine, food, dieting aid and as a beauty product. Of course, the sponges are also free from chemicals, colouring, additives and irritants – and they are fully biodegradable.

My sponge is their 100% Pure Konjac Sponge, ideal for all skin types and all ages. The sponge is said to deeply cleanse, remove blackheads and gently exfoliate the skin.

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How does it work?

Before the first use, you place the sponge in a bowl of water for at least 5 minutes, allowing the hard little hemisphere to soak up the water so that it will become soft and pleasant to use. The sponge almost doubles in size during this process! To use the sponge, you drain it gently between your palms (don’t squeeze it very hard or wring it dry!) and use it in a circular motion on your face and neck (and decollete, if you wish – I do!). You can’t rub too hard with this sponge as it’s extremely soft and pleasant and doesn’t feel hard or irritating on the skin at all. After you are done using the sponge, rinse it well and hang it somewhere to dry – it comes with a handy little string.

What does it do?

I can only speak for myself, but I have been really loving this all natural sponge. I use it in the morning with some water alone to wake up my skin and get my face ready for the day. I used to often wash my face in the morning with a cleanser, after which I would use a toner – or some mornings I would just use the toner, but now… Now, I only use the sponge and water. It cleanses my skin really well without leaving it feeling either greasy (as I would normally feel after the sebum invasion of the night and simply washing with water) nor dry (as I would feel after a wash with products). It leaves my skin feeling absolutely perfect, soft and smooth, yet firm. I apply my eye gel and my light moisturizer and I’m ready for the makeup!

In the evening, I often use this to finish my cleansing routine, whatever that may be. The konjac sponge is said to be enough to remove light makeup, but I prefer to go over my face with a cleansing oil first and then finish the job with the sponge. Again, I’m left with wonderful skin!

I would say that I think this sponge has been a great help for my skin. The moving made my skin break out quite badly and it looked dull and lifeless with red spots here and there. Now, after a couple of weeks of the sponge, my skin looks really good. Perhaps better than it has in ages. I love the gentleness of the sponge and I love that I can use it so easily over my face, neck and decollete. I also love how it feels like it just glides over your skin, almost as if there was soap on it – yet it leaves no residue.

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How long is the lifespan of the sponge?

Approximately 3 months, is the estimate most often given. Of course, this also depends on how hard you handle your sponge, how you store it and probably, if you use chemicals with it. Once the sponge has reached the end of its lifespan, it starts to crumble, at which point you can throw it out among your bio trash (if you, like me, have a separate bin for organic garbage).

Will I be repurchasing?

I can’t think of a reason as to why I wouldn’t. Honestly, they make these for the body too and I’m quite tempted to get one! I imagine it would be pretty heavenly…

Who would I recommend it for?

Everyone. Even for washing up your baby, if you have one. These sponges are so soft and so gentle, they are perfect for anyone! The price in Finland is just under 10 euros (but of course, Finland is expensive), but I see it going for about £8 in the UK, for example. I think it’s more than worth the money. Here’s a link to their website.

Will you be trying the Konjac Sponge?