Lumene launched a new Longwear Blur Foundation – I put it to the test!

Lumene Longwear Blur

This is not an official, formal review, just some experiences I wrote down regarding the new Longwear Blur Foundation by Lumene. The product was launched here in Finland just this month, but many bloggers around the country have had a chance to test it about a month ago so there are quite a few opinions on it already – pretty much all positive. I wasn’t one of those bloggers, so I unfortunately had to put the money in myself and patiently wait for the release. Despite not having the target skin for the Lumene Hydra Drops Moisturizing Foundation, I have pretty much used it up just because it has been quick and easy to use and it does look nice, as long as I remember to keep the shine in check. Now, I am, I think, the target market for this foundation as I’ve read that it should be ideal for normal to mixed/oily skin. Mine has been heading towards oilier lately for some reason though, which is bringing certain challenges with makeup bases in general.

The new Blur foundation (as it is being called around here) has been compared to Dior Star Foundation and at least a couple of different Lancôme foundations – for a fraction of the price. Beauty experts and bloggers have been praising this foundation as Lumene’s big hit and a favorite for the budget markets. It’s priced at around 16 euros in Finland, which is about what you pay for L’Oréal around here, for example. So, the price is not bad at all. Of course, Lumene is designed for the “scandinavian skintones”, meaning that there are 6 shades available, which aren’t all that dark. Of course, if you applied the darkest shade on me, I would likely become unreckognizable. I selected the shade 0 (Light Ivory) without even a thought.

Lumene Blur

Here I am at the office, approximately 3,5 hours after first applying the foundation – and after patting it down a bit with a tissue. Tissues seem to be the key with this foundation on my skin… It actually applied almost matte when I put it on in the morning, though I finished it off with a layer of powder. I still had to re-powder my face about an hour later, before leaving for work (yes, I like slow mornings). I lost count as to how many times throughout the day I patted my face a bit, but I tried to avoid re-powdering and only did that a couple of times during the 10 hours that it was on me before heading home.

Lumene Blur

The picture above (looks goofy) was taken about 7,5 hours after applying the foundation. My eyeshadow had clumped itself into the grease pretty well – not sure if primer would have fixed that, but I had not applied any in the morning. I do have to admit, that this foundation does do an outstanding job at hiding my giant pores. Possibly the best job at it that anything ever has done. They’re still there, but they’re not the main attraction!

Almost 10 hours since applying the foundation. I felt a bit like melting, as I did a few times throughout the day and I did look a bit like melting too as I was getting shiney pretty damn quickly with this thing on. If you are very particular about your face, you might feel comfortable with patting it down a bit every hour – which to me, feels like a lot of work. Now, if your skin is normal, however… I think you might have found something great in Lumene Blur. For me, it’s a bit of a pain in the backside, but at the same time, it does do a damn good job with those pores – thanks to the silicones. I would prefer not to apply silicone on my face, but hey, with most foundations, you can’t avoid it.

Lumene Blur

In the picture above, I was ready to head home. I had fixed my base a bit (tissues & powder), reapplied my lipstick and generally tried to look a bit less all over the place. So the base can handle being fixed up a lot at least! And it did still look pretty decent after about 11 hours of wear. In fact, despite the shine, it was still pretty much intact when I washed it off after approximately 15 hours of wear, so sure, their promise of 16 hours of wear can be believable – if you don’t mind the fixing up OR if you do happen to have been blessed with a non-problematic skin.

I have read that it’s not a particularly good foundation for dry skin though, which I find a bit surprising, because I don’t see this as drying at all. I think the problem is mainly with when you spread it. The foundation is quite liquid-y, but at the same time kind of heavy to apply. A little goes a long way too, you don’t want to end up caking it on!

I’m going to keep on testing this, because I am finding many good things about it already. The only downside for me is the upkeep it requires… I wish I could somehow combine the blurring effect of this with the great feeling and longevity of the Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation! Then I would have my perfect base… ahhh!

PS. Also featured on the post, the Lumene Gel Effect nail polish in 37 Starry Nights and a super long lasting Lumene Raspberry Miracle SHINE Lipstick in 109 Chilly Night which seriously even fades out looking gorgeous!

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Snow White’s Wedding

Last weekend I was approached by a rather curious proposal that came from a very unlikely source, Lover.ly. Lover.ly is a site that aims to make wedding planning simple – and fun. I have to say I know nothing of wedding planning, I’ve never had to do it and to be honest, I’m not much of a planner to begin with. I always want everything to happen as soon as I get the idea for them, so planning a wedding event for like a year or two in advance seems crazy to me, but I think I’m in the minority in this. From what I’ve heard and seen (mostly on US TV), wedding planning is often far from easy and simple – or fun. It’s often a very stressful time for everyone involved, so I’m glad that Lover.ly is working on making the whole process a bit less of a hassle.

I would say that the biggest wedding-related hassle for most brides-to-be must be picking the right dress. After all, you will be seen in that dress in front of everyone on a day that is mostly about you. Honestly, nobody seems to pay that much attention to the grooms at weddings, perhaps because their attire is always pretty similar! Wedding gowns however… they are the deal. When Lover.ly suggested I would combine a dress with a makeup look for a wedding, my first instinct was “Why me?! I know nothing of weddings, dresses or makeup?!”, though I guess I know a bit about makeup. However… after I sat on the thought for a brief moment (again with my instant action), I realized it could be quite fun to challenge myself with something like this.

When I headed over to Lover.ly to look at the dresses featured, I was overwhelmed again and wondered what did I get myself into. For a while, I had no idea what sort of a dress I could want for the look, until… it hit me! Snow White. When I got married, 7 years ago, I basically picked the first dress that was about the right fit without need for alterations or anything. I actually did not want a wedding dress at all, but at the time, in my little town, there was nothing beautiful and plus size that didn’t seem matronly. The dress I ended up with I did love, even though it did give me a slight cream-cake like appearance, in my opinion. When I wore the dress, people kept saying I looked like Snow White, even though my hair was red. Something about my dress reminded everyone of the Disney Princess! My own dress was off the shoulder, white with deep red detailing. The neckline was entirely adorned with small red and white roses, which were also scattered throughout the flowing part of my dress. It had a slight corset to it and it went along my own natural waist line. It was very beautiful! Not the dress I would choose now, but beautiful none the less. Now, I chose the dress I would actually wear, if I had the chance to do it all over again!

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(click the image to go to Lover.ly, where this dress is featured!)

This dress spoke to me. This Monique Lhuillier dress is described as being ivory silk organza illusion neckline gown with natural waist, long sleeves and embroidered lace overlay. It is a rather formal wedding dress, but at the same time, there’s a certain winter-y lightness to it, due to the see-through bits that I find it versatile enough for many types of wedding. I love the belt detail at the natural waist, something that I personally would like to highlight, since I do actually have a waist. I like the cut of the dress, I think it could be flattering for many body types. The sheerness gives it lightness, the lace gives it intrigue and the sleeves and high neckline add a bit of modesty and vintage charm. It’s a dress of many dimensions, just like a woman has. At least I do! I would actually use that veil too, it is quite lovely and simple.

Snow White's Wedding

(click on the image to view the products on Polyvore)

As far as the hair goes, I would, if there were enough length in the bride’s hair, style it on a low, but rather full bun, allowing for the dress and the bride’s happiness to shine through! I would also add red shoes to the look for a “secret” pop of color underneath the dress. I chose two styles, ballerinas and little t-strap heels that would be comfortable enough for a bit of dancing as well. For the sake of the theme I chose, I also included a Valentino purse, because it would be the perfect choice for Snow White’s perfect day. Personally, I would opt for fake leather where I can, but of course, that is entirely up to the bride!

And then the makeup! This was an easy one! I wanted to choose products that would be both available in several countries (if not physically, at least through ordering online) and cruelty free. NYX is a very affordable, cruelty free brand with a wide range of products, so I would go with it – after all, weddings can be an expensive affair already, why blow a thousand dollars on makeup too? This look I chose can be modified to suit various skin tones. You don’t have to be as pasty white as Snow White herself to pull this look off! If you have very dark skin, I would swap the blush color I chose for something closer to your natural skin tone and same goes for the eyeshadow. The main focus of the look is on the red pout, for which I chose NYX Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo, which is a lovely red shade, perhaps a hint cool. If you need or want to use a lip liner, don’t hesitate to use it!
I would apply the blush very lightly on the apples of your cheeks and skip the bronzer – the look is about slightly enhanced natural beauty with the lips taking the main stage. I picked a slightly pink neutral matte eyeshadow that will just nicely even out the color of the eyelid and offer a good platform for nice black gel eyeliner. I would line the upper lash line thinly from the inner corner of the eye, making the line thicker as you head for the outer corner. If you want, you could make it a modest wing. Use a good couple of coats of your favorite, trustworthy mascara and you’re good to go.

If you feel like it, you can of course add to the look what you want / need, such as highlighters, primers, foundations, powders, etc. If you want and dare to, combine your dress with some red jewelry, such as the Carmen -line from Finnish brand Kalevalakoru. I wore the Carmen pendant in my wedding! They do deliver abroad – I should know, my husband ordered my necklace all the way to USA when I was visiting him!

I do hope you enjoy this little look I created and perhaps even got an idea for an upcoming wedding of yours! For me, this was a fun challenge and a delightful break to my usual routines.

PS. For a scent, I could recommend the Victoria’s Secret “Enchanted Apple” – it would go with the theme…

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?

The berry lips of autumn – and one nearly nude

The berry lips of autumn - and one nearly nude

The autumn has taken me to the forest to pick some berries. At least if you consider the beauty department a forest and these berry shaded lipsticks… well, berries. I think I’ll be leaving the actual picking of berries to someone else and focus on these lipsticks instead! I thought I would showcase my current favorite lipsticks – and one lipliner. I doubt that I’m the only one to go for berry shades when fall comes around, but I don’t recall ever being quite so excited about them as I am now. This whole thing started when I woke up one morning and desperately wanted to pair my silvery eye makeup with berry lips. I found Lumene’s Raspberry Miracle Lipstick in 04 Heather Day that I had bought last year and completely forgotten about. It had barely seen any use. I applied it and decided that I want more. So, as a pre-birthday present for myself, I went and got a couple more…

From left to right: Heather Day, Chilly Night, Iceberry & Pink Pashmina

From left to right: Heather Day, Chilly Night, Iceberry & Pink Pashmina

My lipsticks of choice are: Lumene’s Raspberry Miracle Lipstick in 04 Heather Day (oldie), Raspberry Miracle SHINE Lipstick in 109 Chilly Night and Wild Rose Lipstick in 17 Iceberry, Wild Rose Lipliner shade 4 (my new purchases) and IsaDora’s Perfect Moisture Lipstick in 132 Pink Pashmina (recently acquired). All of the products are cruelty free and Finnish / Swedish (IsaDora). In the picture, most of the shades look almost identical, but they do all look different on the lips.

Heather Day

Lumene Raspberry Miracle Lipstick in 04 Heather Day is a richly pigmented, creamy lipstick that applies almost matte. The finish is lively, slightly satin-like, but pretty much matte. The shade is a very intense purple pink/red hue, much like very dark heather. It’s pretty long lasting (can pretty much survive a cup of tea as well) and when it fades out, it fades very evenly, leaving a bit of a stain for a looooong time. Out of my lipsticks, this is by far the coldest hue and also one of the most intense lippies I own. Once I wore it, I instantly received comments on how well it suits my Snow White -like appearance… I simply cannot have dark hair without instantly getting the Snow White -comments. But that’s alright, she is a princess after all…

Chilly Night

Lumene Raspberry Miracle SHINE Lipstick in 109 Chilly Night is a bit like a more tame version of Heather Day. The color is a bit more pink, a hint less cold and definitely less intensely pigmented. Though it’s a SHINE -lipstick, it’s still far away from being a gloss. It’s a very sophisticated shine with a pretty rich pigment that also has a reasonable wear time and some staining left behind. The hue is a really pretty berry shade for everyday wear, not overwhelmingly strong, but enough to make a statement.

Iceberry

Lumene Wild Rose Lipstick in 17 Iceberry is my ultimate favorite right now. I would say it’s on the same line with IsaDora’s beautiful Pink Pashmina that I’ve loved so much, but thankfully, Iceberry is a totally different shade. Iceberry is warmer than the other two shades, but it’s neutral, not actually warm. The shade brings to mind lightly frosted lingonberries (or perhaps raspberries) and it’s quite beautiful. It looks very natural on me, just a bit darker than my natural lip color. This is definitely a shade I can see myself wearing a lot, all around the year! This too is pretty long wearing and offers a bit of a shine. Feels quite moisturizing too! As a bonus, it comes with SPF 15 and a lot of vitamins!

Pink Pashmina

IsaDora Perfect Moisture Lipstick in 132 Pink Pashmina doesn’t need much of an introduction anymore. It’s my perfect nearly nude. It’s such a great, pigmented pink-y nude shade that goes with everything. After purchasing it, I didn’t even touch another lipstick for two weeks, which for me is pretty spectacular! It may look kind of dark (especially in the late afternoon light on a cloudy day), but it works well as a nude for me, because my lips are naturally so dark. “Normal nudes” always look like concealer lips on me… I would actually recommend you give this a try, if you’ve been struggling with trying to find the perfect nude shade to wear with everything.

Swatches

Heather Day, Chilly Night, Iceberry, Pink Pashmina

Just looking at the swatches, both Iceberry and Pink Pashmina look pretty boring to me! When applied on the lips however, they both become quite magical! I’m super happy for the purchase.

Swatch

Lipliner as well

The lipliner goes especially well with Iceberry, but it can also easily be worn on its own. It’s a beautiful neutral red shade that can easily be worn with several of my existing lipsticks. The lipliner is surprisingly pleasant to apply (I’ve always hated lipliners and thought of them as rather scratchy) and it has a decent amount of weartime as well.

Do you go for the berry shades this fall? How did you like my picks?

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.

closeup-clearitup

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.

Makeup Monday – Heather Day

Products used for this look

Products used for this look

After wearing nothing but IsaDora’s Coffee & Poetry -collection for over a week, I thought I’d do a Lumene / Lumene Natural Code look for a change. I did have to grab the IsaDora Eyebrow Styler in Light Brown as it’s my go-to eyebrow product (and absolutely amazing at that). Otherwise, the look is done entirely with Lumene and Lumene Natural Code products. For mascara, I used Lumene Cloudberry Volume Serum Mascara in Black, which I haven’t written about before, but I have used it for a while and I like it quite a bit. In my opinion, it doesn’t give a huge boost to volume, but gives you that “your lashes, but better” -look I really like. It’s also long lasting, which is a plus. For base, I used the Lumene Hydra Drops Moisturizing Foundation in Vanilla Beige that I recently reviewed. I’ve used it as my base for a couple of weeks now actually! I powdered some of my face with the well worn Lumene 6-in-1 Color Correcting Powder in Light/Medium, which I mentioned ages ago. The Lumene Raspberry Miracle Lipstick in 04 Heather Day doubled as blush and lipstick today – something I like to do now and then with my lipsticks. For under the eyes I used Lumene Beauty Base Dark Under Eye Concealer which is a slightly peachy shade that does offer a good amount of coverage for the eye area. While I don’t suffer from really dark under eye area, it gives a bit of brightness to the area, which helps when you’re stuck wearing eyeglasses. For a bit of lining and tightlining I used Lumene Sensitive Touch Automatic Eyeliner in Deep Black. My eyeshadow of choice was the beautiful Lumene Natural Code Eye Dramatizer Trio Eyeshadow in 6 Smoky, that I had completely managed to forget I had! I had also forgotten how beautifully pigmented it is… and managed to fall in love with that silvery hue all over again!

The first two pictures are taken with my camera and the second two were taken with my phone. My hair was a bit of a poofy mess, but that’s mostly because I had just returned from walking the dog in 99% humidity…

Do you like the look?

PS. All of the products used are 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?

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

loccitaneI received a sample sized version of L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream from my last LivBox (monthly Finnish beauty box) and after having used it for a while, I decided I could write my thoughts on this “cult classic” hand cream. I admit, I haven’t tried L’Occitane products before, though I have eyed them at the stores before. I’ve been interested in trying as they advertize themselves as such a natural, down to earth kind of a brand, but unfortunately, they sell their goods in China – though they are at the same time working on convincing the Chinese to use alternative testing methods, which, for some parts, has apparently been a success. I appreciate the effort, so I tested the hand cream to see what all the raving was about.

loccitane-shea

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (24,00 € / 150 ml)

Packaging: Silvery, simple tube (aluminum, I think). The normal size comes in a similar tube which comes in a cardboard packaging. Seems pretty sturdy. I kind of like the look of the packaging. Somehow organic and industrial at the same time.

Scent: Pretty mild, natural, clean. Pleasant.

Consistency: Pretty thick cream that comes out of the tube in a neat form, instead of becoming a giant, liquid mess. Applies really nicely and feels instantly moisturizing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to absorb quite as quickly as I’d like, which is why I’ve been mostly using this before bed. I couldn’t use it at work, I would get lotion everywhere in no time… Does feel very nourishing though!

For whom: Anyone who has really dry skin. Mine is currently somewhat dry, extremely dry around the cuticles, but not dry enough for this, I don’t think. Makes a really good night cream for hands.

What do I think: In case you didn’t know, I use hand creams. I have hand creams posted pretty much everywhere. I have a couple at work, some in my purse, some on my desk at home and an entire box full of them stashed away inside my nightstand. I would have terribly, terribly dry hands if I didn’t use hand cream at all. The hand creams I carry around with me must have two qualities: pleasant smell / no smell and fast absorbing. I don’t want the smell of my hand cream annoying me or my co-workers and I need my hands to be quickly ready for some typing again. As said, I feel that this particular hand cream absorbs quite slowly – though based on the reviews I’ve seen online, everyone else finds it pretty fast absorbing, so perhaps I just expect my lotions to work like ninjas, I don’t know. I feel that this does offer a good deal of moisture and it certainly has a really lovely scent – very mild and not overpowering. If this would absorb quicker, I would potentially really like it. Now, I just like it.

Would I purchase: I don’t think so. I think the price is too steep as I’m used to paying max 10 euros for my hand cream (and for that money, I feel I get one that’s just as good), but I could maybe consider paying 24 euros for a really good one, in a reasonably sized tube. This hand cream unfortunately isn’t the versatile kind that I need on a daily basis, so I don’t think I would purchase. I’m also not entirely thrilled about these being sold in China. If I were to get one as a gift, for example, I would likely use it as a night cream for my hands, but I wouldn’t go out of my ways to buy it myself.

Have you tried this hand cream? Did it feel like a cult classic to you? Best cream ever?

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…

hydradrops-lumene

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.

sample

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

lumene-hydra-drops-moisturizing-foundation-0

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.

LivBox – September 2014

livbox-all

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!

elnett

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.