IT COSMETICS Your Skin Bbut Better CC+ SPF50 UVA PA++++
I’ve had the travel size for a while, which initially didn’t impress me, but I had bad skin days then, so when I picked it up again last year to finally use it up, I realised it’s a lovely formula. Now I bought a full size, even though I said I won’t because of the shade range, however, the latter was expanded and I got one of the new colours. Fair, which I had before, isn’t match for my skin and sadly new Fair Ivory isn’t that much lighter, but I like the formula and I wear it regardless. It’s got a lot of coverage, about medium or even medium-full, but without looking obvious on the skin (most of the time. It still has an off day occasionally). It usually ends up looking better with time and it lasts pretty much all day. Finish on me ranges from matte when my skin is very dry to dewy. It has the added benefits of a high SPF and nice list of skin care ingredients. I still love Missha’s BB RX more, but this one is a richer and suits me when my skin is dry (coverage is higher too).Review is from the time I disliked it, but it includes before-after picture, so you can see the coverage.
An old favourite. It’s lightweight formula that has light-medium coverage and looks so nice on my skin. It looks smoother than a lot of foundations I tried and it sort of blurs the pores a bit. They have so many shades and in some places it’s so cheap online. It doesn’t suit me when my skin is very dry in winter, but for the rest of the year I love it.
BENEFIT Porefessional Pearl Pore Minimising Radiance Face Primer
This is the “spinoff” of the famous original Porefessional and just like that one it promises to both blur/minimize pores, but also add a glow. It’s a pink silicone cream with no shimmer that I can see, so not really pearly as far as I can tell (I only use small amounts because tester tube is half empty when new and I don’t want to waste it). When I tried it first I wasn’t that impressed, but after I took before-after pictures, I saw it’s the most effective such primer I’ve tried – it’s not miraculous though. Formula is thick, yet so smooth on the face and you only need a small amount that I tap in to “fill the pores”. I had a few blur primers and this one is the nicest. It doesn’t flake like Catrice’s primer and it’s smoother on the skin than Revlon’s. Despite being dry-to-the-touch instantly when it’s on the face, it’s not drying on my skin. I have the Maybelline’s Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser that is described as dupe for the original and I have to say this is so much better and not greasy (both Catrice and Revlon are more similar than Maybelline. I’m surprised it’s even called a dupe by anyone). The thing I’m missing though, is the promised glow, so I don’t see how it could differ from the original. Finish is matte, though not a flat one and the skin looks nicer with it. It has a floral scent. I’m tempted to buy full size.
PIXI +C VIT Brightening Perfector
This is one of those creams that has mini beads with colour that bust when rubbed on the skin, but unlike the rest such tinted moisturisers I’ve tried, it’s thicker and meant to be used (also) as a primer. I’ve had several such products and all ended up too dark for me, but this one is least dark. I can only see it doesn’t match brilliantly on the edges of my face, particularly hairline where some of the darker tint gets stuck, but otherwise it blends in well. It creates a beautiful finish, a lovely radiant glow without looking greasy. Pores aren’t highlighted despite the shine and that’s almost impossible to find, though I wouldn’t say it’s hides them, just blurs a bit. It’s quite a thick cream and it takes some time to blend it in or get the beads to burst, but it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin at all. This contains some vitamin C (ascorbic acid) together with ferulic acid, as well as squalane, caffeine and some extracts. It’s a great product for those who don’t like makeup or wearing much of it, as it just makes the skin look a bit better. It has no coverage, it just add as healthy glow or a slight tint. I use it under foundation as a smoothing, glowy primer.
TREND IT UP SENSITIVE Lipliner
I think this is being discontinued, as it had a red sticker and it only cost 1 €. It’s a beautiful natural pink shade, formula is creamy and not drying or tight on the lips. But that creaminess comes at a price that it doesn’t last long on the lips, as it’s less “sticky” than their lipliners in regular collection. I love the colour though and I’m thinking about picking one or two more.
CATRICE Hop, Hop, Hooray! Limited Edition Mini Nail Lacquer
C04 Lavender Bouquet
This is from Catrice’s collection of nail polishes for Easter, so it might be already gone. The formula is so nice for a pastel – smooth and fully opaque with the first coat. This lilac colour is perfect for spring.
AFRODITA COSMETICS Skin Specialist Vitamin C Anti-Age Serum
I recently used up Afrodita Professional Vitamin C concentrate, which was so far the only vitamin C product I noticed faded sun damage and pigmentation marks, though once it reached a certain point, that stopped, but still it’s the most effective such product I’ve tried. This is the drugstore version of it with the same type of vitamin C, just a lesser percentage. Both contain Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, a stable version of vitamin C soluble in oil that doesn’t irritate the skin and it’s said to be 25x more effective than l-ascorbic acid – based on my experience I agree. It also contains squalane and Ethyl Ferulate, which is an ester of Ferulic Acid. Texture is very similar to the Professional version, so both are light oily-ish lotions that leave a glow on the skin (those with oily skin may need something mattifying over it when worn during the day). I use it in my morning routine
OLAPLEX No. 0
A liquid, strongest Olaplex that is applied before n.3. I find this combination works considerably better than just n.3 and I love the way the Olaplex routine (no.0 + no.3 treatment + no.4 shampoo + no.5 conditioner + no.6 leave-in) improve the condition of the hair. Packaging is a pain, since it has this tiny hole that lets out tiny drops, so I just unscrew the bottle and pour it on the hair (packaging now has a spray, I guess people complained a lot), then apply n.3 on top, make a cap out of plastic foil + wear a scarf over it so the temperature is higher and leave it on for hours or overnight. Olaplex says that 20 minutes (10 with just this and extra 10 with n.3 on top) is enough, but my hair is thick, so in my experience it’s best to let things work for a while. My hair is softer, in general feels better and is nourished. This last time my fizz was reduced greatly, which just using n.3 doesn’t happen. If only it were cheaper (or at least their packaging bigger for the same price), since I find it an essential because I bleach my hair.
I was asked to do an update after a while of using this. Number one that is really starting to bother me – battery is terrible. You’d expect it to last a while if you don’t use it for a few days, but so many times I picked it up and it was empty. Foreo says one charge should last up to 40 treatments, but it’s much less. Once I had a mask already on because I recently charged it and naturally assumed it’s close to full, and it didn’t even power up for a second. So the battery is one thing I need to be cautious about before doing a session. I only charged Luna mini 2 once so far and I use it every 2nd or 3rd day, but that hasn’t got power-draining lights and a heater. As far as the rest goes, I have nothing different to report as before. Their masks have so much essence and UFO helps most of it absorb quickly. I usually do 2 or occasionally even 3 treatments at once (last just for the neck) to use up all the liquid in the pack, so I do one treatment and then squeeze the leftover essence on the sheet and do it again. My skin is super soft the next day and hydrated, but that’s about all I notice. I use too many other products (vitamin C serum, A-game with retinal, Gua Sha…) that I’d be able to pinpoint this is the sole reason my skin is looking good, but up to before I started taking collagen and ceramide supplements it was nice (the latter two made my skin worse for the second time, but this time I won’t continue to waste my money for months like last time). I don’t know if the lights make a difference, all I know is there’s some research red led lights may help boost collagen production, but that’s based on much stronger professional lights. I like to think that this is at least slowing aging in some way. So worth it, not worth it? I like using it, it helps absorption so much and my skin feels nice the next day – it’s an excellent addition to sheet masks. It’s small and portable, and you can use it with any sheet mask, but I honestly can’t tell you how much the LED lights do, I think for that some more time needs to pass to see its effect. I don’t have that many imperfections to begin with, but this device also has the option of blue LED light, which is used to treat oily skin with acne.
BALEA Beauty Expert Liquid Peeling 2% BHA
Balea’s new skin care line. This was the only product I was able to get so far, but there’s also a retinol + bakuchiol serum, a PHA cleanser, an AHA peeling body lotion and a niacinamide body lotion. Peeling contains 2% salicylic acid, so we finally have a The Ordinary (plus other copycats) equivalent in drugstores here (Revox, another TO copycat, doesn’t have such a product here). It’s a rich toner like product, but also somewhat almost oily-feeling. There’s this heavy-greasy feeling layer on the skin and it takes a while for it to absorb. When it does, the skin feels dry-to-the-touch enough that I can start applying other skin care. It’s a weird type of texture to apply first after cleansing and if I start applying products over it before it dries, I feel like it acts as barrier for other products to absorb. It’s an ok product, just not ideal for people like me who often have no time/patience to wait for it to sink in. I expected something lighter, such as COSRX Blackhead liquid, but given how easily available it is and affordable, I won’t complain much. My skin is currently clear, so I have no idea how well it works on blemishes, but it hasn’t done anything for my blackheads short time I have it. I got no reaction from this, but my skin is far from sensitive.
BALEA Niacinamide Day Cream SPF 30
Niacinamide Tages Crème
This product combines two things I want in my day cream – niacinamide and SPF. It has 10% of niacinamide, so equivalent to their popular serum that I still haven’t tried (I only have the AHA version). It’s kind of a typical cream that sits on the skin for a long time and stays tacky for a while, but it’s not a heavy, rich moisturiser, it’s just one that doesn’t sink in all that well (except when my skin has a drier-than-usual day). I don’t mind that on my dry skin, but for the rest, you may need to only apply small amounts. There is sunscreen shine at this one. I’ve tried to apply a large amount, to test for those who are interested in it as a sunscreen and want to apply the recommended amount and it doesn’t really work that well because, it feels too much on the skin and it needs to be blended to a thinner layer.
SUBRINA Butter Colour
1030 Cendre Blonde
I usually have a stash of Garnier Color Naturals 9.1 and 8.1 shades in my stash, but this last time I was bleaching my hair, I realised I forgot to buy them, so I used one of the Subrina colours I have in my work stash. It’s actually not suited for bleached hair, but I didn’t bleach that well this last time and I had orange tones, so I thought this was a better choice than the rest the lighter blonde shades I have. It’s got super intense blue tones in it, in fact I misjudged how bleached my hair was and I left this on too long (though I swapped the developer for the much weaker 3% one), so the result was a bit on the green side, but overall close to Garnier’s 8.1. When I washed it the first time after colouring, those tones went away and it’s now a natural medium blonde. Orange tones are completely covered. Subrina’s blonde colours have super strong neutralising tones (either purple, blue or green) that cool down/cover the strong yellow and brassy tones, but this was my first time using this shade and I was surprised to see it’s not their usual very light blonde cool shade. I like it, though I didn’t expect it to be darker than the colour I had before. Colour is ammonia free, so it has none of that hair colour smell, actually it smelled nice (floral scent), but not strongly. My hair needed some care after colouring because of bleaching, so instead of the mini added conditioner I used Joico K-Pack. This is a high lift colour, by the way, so a shade that is suitable for light brown hair, which is pretty dark for a blonde hair colour (light brown shades are usually numbered 05 or 500 or 5.0 if you don’t know what exactly Subrina means by light brown). For lighter hair I’d pick their 1020 or 1080 shade, which have neutralising tones more suited for lighter hair (they are like 20/2 and 80/8 on the picture below).
SUBRINA Charm Hair Colours
These got a new look and an improved formula that is more intense (especially red shades) and more long-lasting. I never used one of Charm colours, just Spectra and Butter Colour, but my mother uses shade 47 Hazel (a light brown with a slight gold reflect). why I’m mentioning these is that this line now includes the blonde toner shade Super Cool Demi-permanent Toner, which is the same as the discontinued Subrina Spectra 8/10 Ice Blonde I used a couple of times when I managed to bleach my hair very light – you can see the results here. It’s ammonia free just like Butter Colours and has a 3% developer, and is as far as I know the only such toning shade in our drugstores. It can be used after bleaching to tone out yellow or if you dye your hair blonde with a box colour, you can use it on the already dyed lengths of the hair to just refresh the colour while you do roots with a stronger colour & developer to prevent excess damage. It can also be used to refresh the colour any time you need, so instead of a purple shampoo or mask, but it’s more time consuming – it is stronger though and more long-lasting.
These three products managed to get into my makeup/skin care drawer. Primer hasn’t earned it’s spot 100% yet, but it’s an interesting one because it’s different from what I’ve tried so far and I think it makes the foundation look a bit better, though I haven’t noticed it prolonging staying power. As much as a ranted about the pH lip products and how boring Essence & Catrice became, I really like the formula of Cranberry Lip Oil. It’s so comfortable, feels smooth when I rub my lips together and is nice for dry lips. Daily Drop is a weak vitamin C serum that is very light, so I like using it in the morning, plus the syrupy orange scent is nice.
TREND IT Up Sensitive Balance & Cover Make-Up
Horrid foundation, I don’t recall trying anything so bad. It’s possible this bottle was used by some idiots as a tester and maybe it dried out a bit, but that’s not really an excuse because I had super old foundations that were just fine. First time I tried it just over Cezanne High Moist, which is a hydrating toner, so light on the skin with no potential for pilling and it was just not possible to apply this smoothly. So I though, ok it’s fast drying, I’ll try something very moisturising under it and got the same result, but just a bit worse, which I didn’t think was possible. It’s so patchy and it peels/flakes – it’s beyond terrible. Complete waste of 3 €.
I already dissed this one in a review, but I assumed that it just doesn’t fit me or my skin type, so I kept both bottles that I had to use on other people. Which I did because it was the only good match in my collection and it was terrible. So dry, obvious, cakey and just draining. I had to use so many layers of Pixi Glow spray to make decent. It’s just not a nice foundation. I used to have a nice stash of Oriflame foundations that they always send me in too dark shades, but they are so good. Their Giordani Gold Age Defy is particularly beautiful, which I then gave away because it was a great match & formula, and I really wish I had that one is a shade that matches me.
SUN DANCE Matte Sonnenfluid SPF 50
Many years ago, 9 to be precise, Sun Dance had a mattifying fluid that was light, not sticky-tacky and comfortable, though it had some sunscreen shine, it wasn’t that intense. So naturally they discontinued it and ever since then they bring out a “mattifying” sunscreen every year that’s much thicker and I just can’t imagine this on oily skin. Why call it matte, if it’s nowhere near matte? And I have dry skin. Now, it’s not at all terrible – there no white cast and it has that lovely Sun Dance sunscreen smell that I love, but it’s the heaviest, most shiny sunscreen in my collection. Also it’s not possible to apply 2 fingers worth of product. I’m not that disappointed by this sunscreen, I’m disappointed by DM/Sundance for not trying anymore.
COLOURPOP Stone Cold Fox Cool Tone Eyeshadow Palette – I need to update my eyeshadow palette stash. I occasionally do other people’s makeup and they all want the same Naked palette look, but mine is very old by now (as is the rest of my high-end stuff) and I should invest in something good that’s going to last me a while and offer some variety of natural looks – more for me than for them, but all my high-end palettes are old and I need something high quality and neutral. I have a couple of Colourpop palettes, which are great quality, though shimmers aren’t all impressive, but overall their formula perform as much more expensive ones. I like the look of this one and it’s not that expensive – if you don’t count shipping and other costs.
TOO FACED Natural Eye Shadow Palette – Another very basic looking nude palette, but that’s what I want. I have the original Chocolate palette and quality of eyeshadows is impressive, so I assume this one is about the same.
TARTE Tartelette in Bloom – This has been on my wishlist for a long time and I still see it’s one of the most sold palettes on Sephora. It’s another basic neutral palette.
GOSH Mineral Powder – Someone recommended me this on IG and we got a new Gosh stand in a local Müller, so I gave it a quick test and liked what I see. Shade 002 is light and it looked like it has a nice level of coverage. It’s been a while, since I’ve had a proper mineral foundation and I read two completely conflicting reviews, but one was dealing with oiliness and I don’t really have oils coming through during the day, so it might be ok.
L’ORÉAL PARIS Midnight serum Age Perfect Cell Renew – Ingredients of this looks nothing special and it has alcohol high on the list, but it has so many great reviews I’m just curious. Sometimes products with unimpressive formulas just work. Some say it feels like Estee Lauder ANR, which I had and loved.
LA ROCHE POSAY Anthelios Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel SPF50++ and Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50 + – I love my Garnier Fluid, but LRP has a new state of the art filter Mexoryl400 in UVMune version, which sounds like a good investment to make. I hear Anti-Shine Sun Cream Gel SPF50+ is mat and after buying SunDance I realised I don’t want to bother with shiny SPFs.
MISSHA Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++ – I had a tester of this a while ago and liked it a lot. It has a velvety dry-to-the-touch finish and it reminded me of Biore I used to buy.
NIVEA Body Souffle Cherry Blossom – I have just one body moisturiser left and it’s one with lactic acid high on the list, so not for upcoming sunny days. I had this in the coconut version and though I disliked the scent, I remember it being really good for dry skin and it has more long-term effect than all other body moisturisers I’ve tried, apart from the Q10 Firming lotion. Despite the name, it’s not too light.
NIVEA Body Milk Firming Q10 Plus Vitamin C – another very impressive body moisturiser I already had. This also made my skin softer, which none other moisturiser did. I didn’t love the texture as much as Souffle’s, though.
OLAPLEX No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum – Latest Olaplex product, this one is light serum that’s unlike n.6 and n.8 silicone free. I have all Olaplex products, so I plan to try this one too.
ECOOKING Peeling Maske – I had a mini pot and it’s the only AHA mask I actually like. TO 30% AHA does nothing on me, but this finally felt like something on my hardy skin. I want a small pot again because I’m very forgetful when it comes to acids and I only use them when something is wrong with my skin, so a travel size will be more than enough again.