LivBox – September 2014

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It’s time for a quick first impressions -post on September’s LivBox (mothly beauty box subscription). After the awesome August box LivBox definitely had big boots to fill! The September’s box was definitely up to the task – unless you are like me, and refusing to use cosmetics that are tested on animals. Now, technically all the cosmetics in the picture are cruelty free, because it’s illegal to sell animal tested cosmetics in the EU, but we all know that L’Oréal and Nivea also sell in China. We know that Katy Perry collaborated with Coty on her new scent and Coty is no angel when it comes to animal testing. L’Occitane is a bit of tough case, because while they are in the Chinese market, their logic sort of makes sense. L’Occitane has always been very adamant about not using animal testing and they have put in work to come up with alternative testing methods. Their logic for not pulling out of the Chinese market was that they’re not big and important enough to make a difference by pulling out. Instead, they focused their efforts on trying to convince the Chinese that there are other valid testing methods. They have so far pushed through alternative testing methods for sun screens, which, I guess, is something. I’m glad that they do this work, but I’m not sure if that still justifies being in China at the moment.

Regardless, here’s what I got:

loccitane

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (24 € / 150 ml) (minisize)

Apparently this is a L’Occitane best seller product. I have heard a handful of people rave about it, but I’ve never tried it. Promises to absorb quickly and leave a pleasant scent for the skin. I’m all for shea butter, so I might well try this, but I’m still wrestling with the moral dilemma of the company’s work in China, so I’m not sure I would be into buying this. At 24 euros per 150 ml, this would have to be a really good hand cream for me to bother!

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L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Volume Express (2,85 € / 75 ml) (travel size)

Elnett is a pretty legendary hairspray, though I’ve never used it. This hairspray has now been revamped in favor of a volumizing effect. I have always hated hairsprays and I only use them when I do a bun that won’t otherwise hold throughout the day. I also prefer my hairspray unscented (due to my asthma). I’m fairly sure my mom wouldn’t mind having this as a travel option, so I will likely give it to her. I have no use for it, nor do I want to use L’Oréal.

loreal

L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Unifying Day Moisturizer (12,90 € / 50 ml)

A normal-sized L’Oréal day cream with a ridiculously long name. Descriped as a moisturizer that evens out skintone and improves skin quality while providing a natural glow. Said to leave the skin feeling refreshed and matte. Sounds like a good product and I would gladly try it, if, once again, it weren’t by L’Oréal. I will be finding a new home for this one without testing it.

nivea-lip-butter

Nivea Lip Butter Blueberry Blush (3,45 € / 16,7 g)

This one is going to be tough one to resist. I do love lip balms and lip butters and I love blueberries! I’ve heard this smells amazing too, which makes it really hard for me to pass this one on as well. Unfortunately, since I bought my Nivea lip butter in Vanilla & Macadamia, I learned that Nivea too sells in China and as such, allows animal testing to be done in order to get their hands on some sweet, sweet yen. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated to hear this as Nivea had always been one of my go-to brands in cosmetics. As such, this one will also be passed on to someone else.

katyperry

Katy Perry Royal Revolution (34 € / 30 ml)

Sounds like a great scent (flowery and a bit sweet with leather!) and I did love Katy Perry’s Killer Queen perfume, which I then decided not to buy as I found out that Katy has been making these in collaboration with Coty. Unfortunately, this too shall be passed on, which is a real shame because I’m quite sure I would have loved the scent!

lumene

Lumene Clear it up! (6,90 € / 150 ml)

Finally something I can use! Even though this one seems to be mostly directed at teens / possibly young adults with it’s deeply purifying promise, I might still put this into the shower to use when I need a quick wash-up with something that will take care of the eye makup as well (which this promises to do). I did give this a quick sniff and quite liked it, so I think I will indeed be using this one. The wash-up gel is suitable for oily & mixed skin, so it might be best for me during summer time use.

Afterthought

Pretty great box, if you haven’t set the same kind of limits for yourself as I have. I feel most people are satisfied knowing that their product wasn’t tested on animals and don’t really think about the Chinese market, which I understand. It seems like a pretty distant thing and sometimes I feel like I’ve made my (cosmetic) life really difficult by opting out of (non-Chinese) products sold in China. I wish nothing more than for L’Oréal to pull out of the Chinese market. It’s such a huge company, that I think if someone like it were to pull out, the Chinese would soon be forced to rethink their policies.

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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?

LivBox – August 2014

LivBox August 2014

It has been that wonderful time of the month again when I receive my monthly beauty surprise box, LivBox. I was especially looking forward to this month’s box as it was said to contain the favorite products of several well-known Finnish bloggers – so I knew it had to be good. I wasn’t disappointed!

LivBox August 2014The packaging was stylish black and white this month and the box contained favorites chosen by 5 Finnish bloggers: Ida (Ida iholla), Johanna (Kalastajan vaimo), Saara (Saara Sarvas kauneus ja kosmetiikka), Annie (Kosmetiikkaobsessio) and Mimmi (Plusmimmi). Unfortuntately the blogs are in Finnish so this info is likely very relevant to my non-Finnish speaking readers (Finnish readers are reading my Finnish blog anyway, I think), but, it’s best to mention the ladies anyway.

LivBox August 2014

The favorites chosen (in the picture above) were Clinique All About Eyes eye cream (sample, 5 ml), Dolce & Gabbana Dolce shower gel (sample, 100 ml), Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo (travel size, 50 ml), The Body Shop Honeymania Body Butter (travel size, 50 ml) and Lumene Arctic Sun Bronzer (normal size, 10 g). This was probably the most valuable package I’ve received so far and very high quality. I’m very pleased! Here’s a look at the products…

Clinique All About Eyes

Clinique All About Eyes (36 € / 15 ml)

I’m always thrilled to receive high quality eye creams from the Box, but as much as I used to like Clinique as a brand, I can’t say that I appreciate them allowing animal testing when required by law – such as for the Chinese market. As such, I think I might pass this product on without even trying it. Stay strong, Jenni! Stay strong!

The Body Shop Honeymania Body Butter (18,90 € / 200 ml)

Now this I can enjoy happily! Somehow I had completely missed the whole Honeymania thing before but I instantly fell in love with the scent of this body butter – and it does seem to absorb quicker into the skin than my other 2 (Pink Grapefuit and Shea Butter) body butters by TBS. I’ve already started to take this with me everywhere I go – if just to stop to sniff it… Mmmm… I think I will have to buy the full-sized version of this sooner or later!

Lumene Arctic Sun Bronzer

Lumene Arctic Sun Bronzer (14,90 € / 10 g)

I got a bit giddy from seeing this product as well. After recently learning how to use bronzers, I’ve been looking for a simple, pale bronzer I could easily work with and I admit, I have been eyeing on the Lumene ones for a while. I was super excited to receive this from the box as I know it will get tested and very likely used on a daily basis! It certainly feels a bit softer and more pigmented than the Maybelline’s bronzer I’ve been using (and kind of hating).

Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo

Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo (8,90 € / 200 ml)

I originally found the Batiste dry shampoos through LivBox and I have been using them since. I tend to use the original version, which has a pretty clean scent and it works quite well, rarely leaving a dull, white residue in my hair. Definitely well priced for its quality, I think. I liked getting the travel sized version of the product as it will definitely come in handy in my purse!

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce (42,90 € / 200 ml)

A luxurious shower gel in travel size with a great scent is a real gem – except when it’s by Dolce & Gabbana who are owned by P&G, who also do condone animal testing when it’s mandatory. This shower gel does smell excellent, but yeah, I think this one will also be passed on…

Nice box in general though! I’m pleased with the products I did get and will be keeping!

Cattier Paris Clay Mask For Sensitive Skin

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Cattier amongst the stone cats. I couldn’t resist. The cats were originally a gift to my mom from one of her clients, but I asked for them some years ago because I thought they were just way too adorable somehow. Enough about the cats though, let’s look at the Cattier Paris Clay Mask For Sensitive Skin!

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Cattier Paris Clay Mask For Sensitive Skin (100 ml / 8,50 €)

The Cattier Pink Clay Facial Mask is a gentle treatment for sensitive and reactive skins, allowing these to enjoy the guarantee of a “healthy looking complexion”. Enriched with Shea Butter, known for its restorative, anti-drying and protective properties, and with Peppermint, for its refreshing and stimulating action, it softens and nourishes the epidermis and clarifying the skin. Due to the high content of micro-nutrients present in the clay, it provides the minerals and oligo elements needed for a beauty, glowing complexion. (Cattier Paris website)

Main active ingredients: Pink clay, Organic shea butter, Organic peppermint extract, Lactic acid (vegetable), Aloe vera.

cattier-tube

Packaging: Simple, clean, white, green and pink 100 ml tube. Nothing too fancy.

Scent: Mostly roses. I don’t normally like rose-scented cosmetics (and I must be alone in this), but I quite like the very natural scent of this product.

Texture: Thick, paste-like.

How does it work: Apply the Pink Clay Mask in a thick coat over the face and neck, avoiding the eye and lip areas. Leave on for approximately 10 minutes without allowing the mask to dry on the skin. Rinse off with tepid water and dry the skin with a cotton towel. Complete the treatment by applying the moisturising cream Secret Botanique. (Cattier Paris website)

I personally struggle with keeping the mask from drying as it seems to want to dry up in just a couple of minutes. My skin doesn’t seem to mind it drying though as afterwards it still feels very clean and delightfully soft. I feel as if the clay mask would be able to somewhat repair my skin and balance it out. Certainly doesn’t seem irritating to the skin!

cattier-product

To sum it up: Despite the problem I have with the mask drying up on my face, I do quite like this product. I was hoping for it to be more moisturizing though, as it is, it feels rather purifying and balancing, but not that moisturizing. A good mask to use when your skin just needs a little “pick-me-up” – or when you just want to relax and smell the roses… I feel the product is also reasonably priced and the 100 ml feels like it will go a long a way. A very nice, cleansing and balancing treatment for the sensitive skin!

Would I buy again: Yes, though I might wish to try the other clay masks (by Cattier) as well. I feel that the product is of good quality and well priced and as such, I’m a fan!

Who would I recommend it to: Though the product is meant for sensitive skin, I would recommend it for everyone who would like a lovely, rose-scented cleansing mask that balances out your skin a bit.

The konjac sponge & other eco goods

Facial-Konjac-Sponges

(click the image for original source)

I have been on a bit of a health (& beauty) kick as of late and my latest purchases in that field should be arriving for me soon. My quest for finding eco & animal friendly alternatives to everyday products sometimes feels like a real chore, because it feels like I learn more and more every day and realize I have to find yet another product that fits the bill of ethical consuming. I have been increasing the amount of fruit, vegetables and berries in my diet and I have been replacing some meals/snacks with smoothies and salads. Not just because of the obvious health benefits, but also because on a hot day smoothie feels like the perfect choice!

In addition to trying to clean up my diet a bit I’ve also been looking into new, eco & animal friendly beauty products, such as the Konjac sponge, which has seen some hype from beauty bloggers (at least in Finland) for quite some time. Asian readers probably know the konjac plant from food industry, where it is commonly used in dishes such as oden, in Japan. The plant itself contains no calories, but it has a lot of fiber, which is why it’s also a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements. I, however, planning on rubbing the roots of the plant on my face! The konjac sponge can be used on its own to remove light makeup – all you need is your sponge and water. For heavier makeup or very intense eye makeup, you can use the sponge with your favorite cleaning product. I’m personally looking forward to using this to wake up my face in the morning and to give it a very light exfoliation in the process. I have ordered the Konjac Pure sponge, intended for normal, balanced skin. Even though my skin is more of a mixed skin than completely normal, I was worried that the sponge intended for mixed to oily skin would be too harsh. I am expecting my order of the konjac sponge to be delivered early next week along with a few other eco-friendly beauty products, such as a clay mask by Cattier Paris and a minty day cream / emulsion by Lavera. I’m also going to be trying out a new herbal toothpaste, the Urtekram Mint & Green Tea. I’m pretty excited to get to try them all!

By the way, it has only been about a month since I purchased The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet face cream and I’ve almost run out already! Though I have used it day and night, I still feel like you end up going through a lot of product rather quickly, which is a bit disappointing, because it wasn’t, in my opinion, a cheap product. I have absolutely loved it though and I think I will still repurchase, but I may end up using it together with the Lavera’s emulsion (hopefully it’s good!) to make it last a bit longer.

In other news, I’m going to give everyone a heads up already that it’s very likely that between 25th and 31st of this month it may be rather quiet here in the blog as we are moving apartments! Since I am working fully until the 29th, it’s likely that I won’t have as much time for my blog as I would like since my spare time will be spent packing our stuff. I am both terrified and excited about the move – and a bit sad to leave our current home behind because it has been such a lovely one. Our location has been superb, our neighbors have been very friendly and there are a lot of dogs (and a dog park) nearby, which has been very nice as well. I will certainly miss it all and I will probably also miss living on the convinient 1st floor, but then again, I’m trying to think of the fact that we shall soon be on the top (5th) floor with nobody rummaging above us and with a better view to boot. We are going to have an open livingroom – kitchen combo going on, which feels a bit weird since I’ve never really had one and my desk will be in that space as well. Then again, we will also have our own sauna again and I get to indulge myself with different sauna products again… mmmm…

Bird of Paradise

I haven’t done much in terms of makeup in ages. I’ve been stuck in a rut and I haven’t had much interest in getting out of it. However, I think the summer is starting to get to me. The colorful days and the sunshine. I ended up digging out one of my older eye shadow palettes, the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Quad in Tropical Tutu. The quad has, as the name suggests, 4 colors, but I have never used them all in one look. The shades are softly shimmery white, coral/orange, yellow-green and turquoise-blue and they do have a decent amount of pigment to them. L’Oréal always has good eye shadows, but, of course, I no longer buy their products. I have been on the lookout for a colorful palette as of late, but haven’t quite made up my mind yet. I would need one that I can also use wet for lining my eyes with, so if you can recommend one, please let me know!

Tropical Tutu

Anyway, I decided to go wild and use all of the four shades in my look. I actually followed the suggestion on the quad as to where to apply what shade. First, I applied the white softly onto my browbone with a bit of a nervous hand, because I normally stay clear of my browbone…. not sure why. Soft and subtle application turned out alright though, in my opinion. I’m so pale that the white pretty much was my skintone… hah. Next, I applied the coral shade onto the inner corners of my eyes, blending towards the center of the eye and up. I would say I covered about 1/3 of the eye with that hue. Next I took the green hue and used it on the rest of the lid, blending upwards and slightly out. After the green I took the turquoise / blue shade and a brush meant for eyebrows and/or eye lining and applied the turquoise along the lashline approximately 1/3 of the outer part of the eye. I also applied some lightly under the eye.

Tropical Tutu

I actually wore this look to work (we have a very casual office AND my eyeglasses mask my eyes a bit), boldly, if I may add. I decided not to line my upper lash line with anything, since I don’t own a liquid liner and I didn’t want the look to be really defined and strong. I applied one coat of Isadora All Day Long Lash Mascara and some eyebrow jumbo pen from KICKS onto my eyebrows. As far as the rest of the makeup goes, I used my Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation in Porcelain and BareMinerals bronzer (lightly). For lips I used Isadora Twist-Up Gloss Stick in Sorbet for the most natural look. I wanted all the focus to be on the eyes. All in all, I think I did pretty good, considering I have to do my makeup “half-blind” thanks to my -6.50 prescription. (I literally see well about 15 cm (about 5.9 inches) in front of me and only blurry mess from there on.)

Tropical Tutu

What do you think? Would you like to see me (attempt to) do more makeup looks?

PS. It’s weird to see your eyes in those giant close-up pictures!

The Body Shop: Divide & Multiply Mascara

The Body Shop Divide & Multiply Mascara

The Body Shop’s Divide & Multiply Mascara. It caught my eye at the Body Shop’s sale a while ago, though I wasn’t even needing a mascara as I had been quite happily using my Isadora All Day Long Lash mascara – 2nd tube in a row, which indicates that it must be pretty good. I hadn’t tried a TBS mascara in ages (like 12 years?) and thought I’d give one of them a go, since I was curious. The Divide & Multiply Mascara was on sale for 10 euros, which, by Finland’s stardards is practically a bargain for a mascara, so it was an easy choice. I noticed that this mascara had one of those rubbery wands I’ve grown to love and I figured it must be good! I’ve now had a couple of weeks to play with it so I’ve been able to form a pretty good opinion on it. So let’s get to it!

The Body Shop Divide & Multiply Mascara  (10 ml)

Promise: “A multiplying genius. Separates, defines and gives ultra-glossy lashes without clumping or flaking.”

Packaging: A khaki-colored plastic tube with a silvery applicator end. Simple and neat, nothing spectacular, but I like it.

Applicator: Quite thin, plastic wand with short plastic bristles that are close together. Comes out of the tube quite clean. You may want to take care applying the mascara as if you brush it on the skin and then go about fixing it with a cotton swab, you easily end up clumping your lashes together in the process!

The Body Shop: Divide & Multiply Mascara

Effect: Indeed does a fine job separating and defining the lashes. The lashes end up feeling quite soft and natural, but the due to the softness, the mascara can’t provide much in terms of curling the lashes. For a very wide-awake look (or for those with very straight lashes) I would recommend curlers. Applying a second coat also helps a bit. I haven’t managed to get any clumps out of this though, so also for that part it does what it promises. I’m not really seeing that much of a multiplying effect, but I would say the mascara gives that “your lashes, but slightly better” kind of look that I personally quite like on days when I’m not doing a very full makeup anyway.

Durability: Some reviews I’ve read had said that the mascara tends to flake out during the day, but so far I haven’t noticed any flaking. Then again, I only normally use one layer of mascara, which might affect the results somewhat. I wear my mascara starting around 7 am and often washing it off around 10 pm, but I expect my mascara to at least get me through my work day, so approximately until 4:30 or 5 pm. On very hot and humid days I’ve noticed some smudging under the eye come afternoon, but no flaking.

Removability: Well, plain water only gives you horrifying panda eyes. Oil-based makeup remover (my TBS Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil) + shower leaves me with somewhat of panda eyes. Eye makeup remover is the way to go with this one. Mine is designed for waterproof makeup and it has no trouble removing this one. No rubbing required there!

The Body Shop: Divide & Multiply Mascara

Overall: Does pretty much what it promises to do, but could still do a bit better with wearability. Great for those looking to get natural-looking lashes – and who don’t need their mascara to survive sweating, swimming or intense humidity. I also wouldn’t recommend this for those seeking for a mascara that gives you a good amount of volume, because this doesn’t really offer you much in terms of that. It does offer some extra lenght for your lashes though, without making them look “spidery”. I have to also say that it works better on the days when I wear mineral foundation – on the days when I’ve worn the BB cream it has definitely smudged more and quicker. Some other reviews had complained about the smell of the product, but at least mine doesn’t smell in any way foul… I never find mascaras to be particularly good-smelling and as such, I don’t smell anything odd about this one either. Bottom line is that this is a reasonable mascara for those seeking for definition and a bit more of a natural look – but if you are expecting volume, don’t bother.

I would rank it 8 / 10.

July 2014 LivBox

I’ve talked about LivBox here before, but I always feel a bit iffy about writing a piece on it because it’s one of those “only in Finland” -things, but I figured that in all fairness I also have to look at all the glorious boxes people get abroad! LivBox is the only monthly cosmetic box that you can subscribe to in Finland, which honestly, is a huge shame. In a way it’s good that I don’t go bankrupt, but I’d still like to shop around a bit between boxes, you know? And if there was a jewelry-filled box, I’d be really into that in a heartbeat!

LivBox-July 002

Anyway, LivBox costs about 15,90 euros / month, but I’ve ordered it almost since the beginning of things, back when the price was 13,90 / month, so I get that slight discount, which is nice. Now and then, LivBox also rewards its long-term customers, such as myself. One of those times was today!

Here’s my box and what I got from it! (not included in the picture were discount coupons for online stores)

LivBox-July 007

RICH Pure Luxury Rejuvenating Argan Oil Elixir (sample) – Light-weight argan oil elixir doesn’t feel greasy or heavy and it absorbs quickly into the hair. Hair will feel softer and appear shiny from roots to tips. Cares for the hair and maintains hair’s own, natural vibrancy. Suitable for all hair types and usable on both wet or dry hair. (16,90 € / 70 ml)

RICH Pure Luxury Intense Moisture Shampoo (sample) – Luxurious, everyday shampoo that moisturizes deeply and provides hair with shine. Repairs damaged hair, restoring hair’s natural vibrancy. Suitable for all hair types. (14,90 € / 250 ml)

Favora SPF 50+ Sun Protection for Face Provides a very high level of protection against sun’s harmful rays. Especially suitable for those with sensitive skin. Scent-free, waterproof formula. (18,50 € / 50 ml)

Invisibobble – New, gentle hair tie that won’t tug, won’t harm the hair. Hygienic and water resistant. (5,90 € / package of 3)

Dermosil Summer Glow Nail Polish Summer Glow nail polish shimmers together with the sun. High quality, durable nail polish provides nails with a long-lasting shine. Sophisticated golden tone enhances the tanned skin. (3,90 € / 12 ml)

Terre d’Oc Body Butter (sample, my BONUS product) – Rich, organic body butter protects and softens the skin. It’s easy to take with you and it can be used as a lip balm or cuticle cream as well. (11,50 € / 20 g)

I’m quite happy with this month’s box, though I wish it would have had more stuff in it (heh, don’t we always?). I felt that it was worth the money though, especially with my little bonus product included. I’m very glad to have received clear Invisibobbles, because I have dark brown ones and white ones (which I never use, except around the house). I think the clear ones will come in very handy as they’re quite neutral and blend in with the hair. I think.

I’m going to try the nail polish very soon, it looks quite pretty. It looks a lot like my MUA golden glittery nail polish, but I’m not sure yet if this one also leaves that kind of a grainy feeling on the nail or is this smooth… The sun protection for the face will probably come in handy, though the formula didn’t sound like the most appealing one, but I’m willing to give it a go. Shampoo samples are always welcome (especially if they come with conditioner) as they are nice to take on trips with. This one smells pretty great! The body butter comes in such a tiny tin that I’m pretty sure I’ll be using it mostly on my (forever dry) cuticles and perhaps I’ll try it on the lips as well. The tin is so adorable that I think I’ll be keeping it around for some time!

LivBox-July 011

2 x The Liebster Award!

I can’t believe I’ve been nominated again! And twice! Oh my. I need to clearly find some more time in my life, not just for blogging but also for reading blogs, because finding 22 blogs with under 200 readers proved to be a completely impossible task! Apparently most of the blogs I try to follow have way more readers than that. I have a bit over a hundred now, which, by the way, is amazing! I’ve only blogged for like 4 months so it’s a bit overwhelming to see this kind of development, especially when I feel like I’ve been less than active with my blog as of late.

liebster

This time around, I was nominated by both Clare’s Beauty Blog and M&M’s Meeting Point – both of which were new blogs to me but totally worth looking into!

Here are the rules..

– You have to link back to the person that nominated you.
– You must answer all 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
– After completing these questions you must nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
– You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
– You must let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

The questions from Clare’s Beauty Blog were as follows:

1. What’s your favorite film you’ve watched recently?

Actually, the movies I last saw were the Indiana Jones movies which I had honestly never fully seen before! Though at times they were cheesy and quite predictable, I still quite enjoyed them as an experience. Not my favorite films (that would still be the Lord of the Rings extended editions), but pretty good none the less!

2. What’s your guilty pleasure?

I guess I would still have to go with good ol’ chocolate, though some might argue that saying Star Trek would be more appropriate! Hah.

3. If you had to live without makeup or hair products which one would you choose?

At first I thought, wow, this is an easy one – hair products of course! But then I realized that shampoo & conditioner are hair products and even with all the “no-poo methods” around these days, I still don’t quite think I could sit around spraying my hair with baking soda & vinegar (or something), so I’m going to be brave and say makeup.

4. Being inside when it’s raining or being outside when it’s sunny?

Though I’m sensitive to sun, I’d still have to say that I would choose being outside when it’s sunny – I’d just relax in the shade.

5. Who is your icon?

I don’t think I really have one, I’ve never really idolized anyone much. Could I say my dad? He was my hero and the most amazing man I’ve ever known.

6. Who is your favorite blogger?

This is a really tough one. After much thought, I would almost have to say Essie Button, but it’s mostly because I enjoy her vlogs so much as I feel we are very much alike in many ways.

7. What made you start your blog?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had the urge to write. I even wrote a book when I was in my early teens (by hand and into a journal), though I have no idea what happened to it. I’ve always been writing a lot, stories, poems and such and when blogging kind of first really started to take off, I jumped on board. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I really started to put more of an effort into it though. For me, despite the fact that this blog is 98% beauty blog (I think), blogging is still a way for me to have an outlet and a way to get some typing out! I also hope that perhaps people will find some of what I write to be entertaining, amusing or useful in some way.

8. Favorite TV show?

Uhm. Star Trek? Right now, I’m watching The Next Generation again. Also, I’m on the WHY DID THEY CANCEL FIREFLY?! – group of people. That was an amazing show. In the non-sci-fi realm of TV I would have to pick Elementary from the newer shows and also I have hooked onto Once Upon A Time, which I just started watching.

9. What’s your favorite eye shadow palette?

I suppose that out of the ones I own, I would still have to go with MUA Makeup Academy’s Pretty Edgy palette. It’s just beautiful.

10. Straight or curly hair?

On me? Curly. I look better with a bit more volume in my hair, so I try to opt for waves.

11. Facebook or Twitter?

I guess I’m a bit old school and I have to say Facebook because I have never really gotten into Twitter. Facebook is my way of keeping in touch with friends & extended family around the world.

And the questions from M&M’s Meeting Point:

1. How did you become a makeup lover?

I honestly have no idea. My mother was always well groomed, but she was never that into makeup or hoarding it like I have been. My sisters don’t even really use any. I would suspect, that I might’ve gotten into it all due to the fact that my teenage best friend’s mom was a cosmetologist who had an ample supply of makeup in her shop and we would often go and sample things there and I also often got some freebies through her.

2. What was your first makeup brand?

Damn, that must have been… a good 16 years ago, give or take? Honestly, the first brands that I got into contact with were very high end brands. I mostly remember using Dior and Joe Blasco, YSL… probably Lancome too. Kind of funny, since I was just a teenager. It was the stuff my mom was using and what my best friend’s mom was selling. I vividly remember a Dior eye shadow and lipstick I got one year for either my birthday or Christmas and I loved them so much. The eyeshadow was a beautiful, light shimmery brown and the lipstick the perfect shimmery shade of beige, which somehow worked for me at the time. So, I guess I’d say Dior.

3. Smokey eyes or bold lips?

Bold lips, hands down. That’s what my husband yelled out too, when I was thinking out loud – hah! I think that if I didn’t have eyeglasses the answer might have been different, but on most days I focus more on my lips than eyes – which has lately really shifted my makeup focus!

4. What is your current favorite foundation?

Lily Lolo’s Mineral Foundation is still unbeatable as far as I’m concerned. I try this and that now and then, but honestly, no other is quite pale enough – nor as long lasting!

5. How do you prefer spending summer vacations: on a beach or travelling around?

My vacations these days are chopped up in to small chunks throughout the year, so honestly, when I’m on vacation, I just chill if at all possible. I do enjoy travelling around more than just sitting on a beach though, because of both my sun sensitivity and lack of body to appear in a bathing suit in public!

6. Your 3 staple beauty producs?

This is difficult, because I do love experimenting and changing my routines up. I guess I could say the Lily Lolo foundation is one, because that has been in my makeup bag for at least 1,5 years now. Another product I keep around is Avène Thermal Spring Water spray which I use to set my makeup when I use the minerals. I sometimes spray it on just for a quick refreshment too – something I learned from my mother. Third product? Hmm… I can’t really say. Unless I can say The Body Shop Body Mists? They’ve replaced perfumes for me.

7. Your favorite makeup brush?

I’m not that big of a brush connoisseur (heh), but I suppose my favorite would be mua MUA powder blush, which is soft and lovely to use!

8. Your favorite artist/band?

I was thinking about this last night and realized that there hasn’t been a band since Oasis around 1995-1997 who I could’ve considered such a favorite that I would have liked even 90% of the songs. I enjoy a song from many artists/bands but rarely all that they have done, or even most. Lately I’ve been enjoying many songs by Noonie Bao – especially the more up beat ones, especially her collaborations. I listen to so many different genres of music even that it’s very hard to narrow it all down!

9. Fake tan or real tan?

As for people actually seeking to get one, I would recommend a fake one – it may well be healthier. I guess I don’t really tan either way, so I choose the very little real tan I may get from popping out with the dog now and then.

10. What’s your favorite summer scent?

Right now it seems to be The Body Shop’s Shea Body Mist, with the Pink Grapefruit being a close second…

11. What was the last book you’ve read?

I’m currently reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, but the last one I finished was a random buy: Shopaholic Abroad (also known as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan) by Sophie Kinsella (Madeleine Wickham). It was surprisingly entertaining, though I’m a bit ashamed of admitting that!

And finally… I tried to search for some blogs with under 200 readers that I hadn’t nominated before and which were in English but that proved to be a nearly impossible task. Here are a few I managed to round up:

Parotisse

Yellow Elephant Beauty (Lisa Sherin)

Beauty With Lily

BeautyFull Sparx

If you have a blog that’s even somewhat beauty related, please nominate yourself. I would love to check out your blog!

My questions for the nominees:

1. What is your most essential summer beauty product?
2. If you would have to choose only one, would you choose bronzer or blush?
3. What was the first item of makeup you ever bought with your own money?
4. How old were you when you first took an interest in beauty & makeup?
5. How would you describe your beauty style?
6. How would you describe your clothes?
7. What is the one item of clothing you would never wear?
8. Have you ever regretted wearing something? If so, what was it?
9. Which trend would you like to see return? (fashion or beauty – or both)
10. Is there a celebrity whose sense of style you admire? If so, who is it?
11. If you could select 5 new items for your wardrobe and money wouldn’t be an issue, what would you choose?

Done! Finished! Ah!

I’m sorry for not finding more people to nominate, it just seems that everyone either has more than 200 readers or has already done this before several times!

4th of July

For the sake of the Independence Day of my husband’s former home country, I decided to go with the theme and use the colors of the US flag on both my makeup and clothes today. I didn’t have a shirt with stars on it, but I figured that you can never go wrong with sequins. Paired the t-shirt and cardigan with dark blue jeans, by the way.

For makeup I’m wearing my usual Lily Lolo mineral foundation base, BareMinerals bronzer (which I remembered I had), Paese Argan Oil Blush and Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Across the Universe. On the eyes I used MUA Makeup Academy‘s eyeliners in blue and white as well as an old Rimmer eyeshadow palette State of Grace which I’ve had for ages, but pretty much never used (perhaps I should get on that though, since it has the only blues I own?). For mascara I’m wearing Isadora All Day Long Lash mascara in black, for eyebrows, an older dark brown Rimmel brow pen I also recently dug out from my stash. My hair is still red by the way, it just looks dark in the phone’s pictures and cold morning greyness. Oddly Rimmel-ish makeup look then.

Happy Independence Day to the American readers! I hope you have a great one!

PS. See how I totally ditched the rules of either picking bold eyes or bold lips? Yeah. How bad is it?