Herbivore Pink Clay Soap Bar

Usually when I hear the term ‘soap’ in connection to skincare, I stay as far away from the product as possible. Soap just sounds stripping, drying and antiquated, but as usual, there’s an exception to the rule.

The Herbivore Pink Clay Soap Bar has proven itself to be a gentle and natural alternative to my usual cleansing products and one that I’ve been happily surprised by.

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I tend to cut down a sliver from the bar to use up at a time in order to avoid the whole thing getting gloopy and gross. I then run this little piece of soap under the water to create a lather and go straight onto the face. I do not, however, remove make-up with this, it is strictly a second cleanse product for me.

What scared me before trying this soap out was the consistency of the lather. I was afraid it would be sudsy and drying but it really forms more of a gentle cream than a soapy foam, so it’s all good.

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Since the pink clay is formulated for drier skin, I have been able to use this throughout the winter as well without my skin getting too dry or flaky. The scent too has not aggravated my skin at all and is very subtle and refreshing.

All in all, my first foray into the Herbivore Botanicals line-up has been a pleasant surprise and I will be sure to try more from their collection soon.

Aesop Resurrection Range

Aesop has been a brand on my radar for the longest time. An Australian apothecary-style brand, they are as effective as they are instagrammable.

I have tried only a handful of products, but their hand care line in the Resurrection scent has been on my wishlist for the longest time. Still, it seemed a bit extravagant to me to spent a good amount of money on what essentially are high-turnover body care products such as soap and hand cream.

A few weeks ago however, I decided to treat myself for a job well done by visiting a brick-and-mortar Aesop store (which might be the closest thing to heaven on earth) and purchase a few products.

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First up is the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, which comes in gorgeous vintage-looking packaging and smells wonderful with herbal notes of rosemary and cedarwood as well as fresh accords of mandarin rind. The product itself is great as well, as much as you can differentiate between different types of liquid hand soap. It’s not very foaming or stripping but rather works up to a soft lather that leaves the hands clean but not parched.

The Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm comes in the same scent and a pretty blush colored aluminium tube which is way too pretty to stow away in a hand bag. The balm itself is beyond gorgeous as it sinks in quickly and leaves the hand soft without any greasy residue or tacky feeling. My one gripe however, is that the smallest size, at 75 ml, is still pretty large and not handbag friendly. I wish they would do a smaller travel size at a lower price to use on the go.

I am glad I have treated myself to such luxurious everyday products since it is a joy to use them. I’m trying not to be too precious about them but I have already vowed to reuse the soap-dispenser and fill it up with a cheaper hand wash once it has run out.

Brand Focus: REN

Another day, another skincare brand on my radar. I’ve been using different REN Skincare products for a good few years now, and so far, I have loved almost everything that I used. Aside from a face scrub (which I don’t enjoy in general), all of their products from cleansers to masks and serums have been lovely and definitely deserve an honorable mentions.

Now, it’s kind of hard to situate REN in a specific category in the skincare realm. They promise to offer only plant-based, non-synthetic ingredients but I don’t think their a strictly organic brand. Plus, the packaging and marketing invokes a highly technological and clinical feel to the products, ‘high-tech natural’, so to speak.

What I definitely know though, is that I love their products and really value them in my routine. If I am looking for a failsafe product that slots right into my skincare line-up, I look to REN.

REN Skincare

 

One of my favorite products so far has been the Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel, which is a gel to cream cleaner that refreshes and nourishes the skin without stripping it. I love this in the summertime as it is not to heavy and makes my skin feel fresh and clean.

In the winter months, I prefer a thicker formula cleanser and for this, I like to go back to the No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm. This is a thicker, oilier balm that feels super luxurious on the skin and comes with a lovely rose scent just like the gel cleanser. It leaves the face soft and nourished without any residue, so it’s a winner for me.

My all-time favorite and arguably their best-known product is the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. A chemical exfoliant, this leaves my face soft and clear by eating away at the dead skin cells that dull my complexion. This doesn’t irritate my skin, smells and fells lovely and makes my face look a lot clearer and brighter in a matter of 10 minutes.

Finally, their Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil is a lovely penultimate step in my routine, especially when my skin is feeling dry and lackluster. It is more of an oil than a serum, so I definitely use this more in the colder months as it provides a hefty dose of hydration and feels extremely soothing on the skin.

Have you tried anything from REN before? How did you like it? For me, this brand is  real staple and one that I rely on for great skin without much hassle.

Make Up Atelier Liquid Concealer

If there’s something that Caroline Hirons recommends, I am for sure gonna try it (in the bounds of my student budget). Usually it’s skincare, but a few weeks ago, she published an absolute rave about the Make Up Atelier Liquid Concealer and since I am forever on the hunt for the perfect under eye concealer I just had to try it out.

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I picked up the shade FLWA1 or Apricot Clear, which is marked as a color correcting shade for light skin tones. It looks beautifully peachy and creamy in the container, but when I applied the product to my hand to swatch, I was shocked to see how dark and orange it looked. Still, I bravely trudged on and applied it to my under eye area.

Thankfully, this is one of those rare occasions where the product actually blends out and dries lighter than it applies, so it thankfully is a perfect fit for my fair skin. The formula is light and creamy, much like a serum concealer, but it really packs a punch pigment wise. I still need two thin layers to conceal my intense dark circles, but it is very easy and quick to get good coverage.

I use this concealer exclusively under the eyes, as it is a correcting shade and thus doesn’t exactly match the skin on my face. However, it promises to be waterproof, so if you get a matching shade, this should be working great on blemishes and uneven areas as well.

I tend to not set this with powder since it does dry down and doesn’t really move around the face. There is a minor amount of creasing and dryness, which definitely has to do with the nature of my under eye area, but so far, I am very happy with this purchase. Thanks Caroline!

Byredo Rose of No Man’s Land

Around some time last year, when I was traipsing through the beauty halls, I stumbled across the impossibly sleek perfume bottle of Swedish luxury brand Byredo. Enticed by their clean and stylish branding and mysterious fragrance names I started testing and was soon in love with their unique and modern scents.

The first scent I coveted was Gypsy Water, a warm, complex and inviting perfume. The one that stole my heart in the end, however, was Rose of No Man’s Land, one of the newest offerings in their line-up.

 

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As I have gotten older, I have been warming up to rose scents, but oftentimes they can smell too powdery or old lady-like. Not this one though. Rose of No Man’s Land starts off with a fresh floral hit but dries down to an almost spicy, multifaceted scent that includes warmth while still remaining fresh and light.

Now Byredo perfumes are a real treat and not something I can splurge on regularly on my grad student budget, but truly they are pieces of art. The different scents invoke unique stories and atmospheres and are certainly not your regular run of the mill perfume. I completely understand why they have such a cult following and I will cherish Rose of No Man’s Land as one of my all-time favorite scents.

Bite Beauty Syrah

If there’s one thing I can’t walk past in the beauty department, it’s a good lip product. My love for a bright lip has been well documented on here, but what I was sorely lacking in my stash was a nice everyday nude that doesn’t lean too pink or mauve.

In comes Bite Beauty, a brand solely dedicated to lip products and therefore right up my alley. I’ve been reading about them forever, but since they are not available in Europe, I had to wait until I made it to a North American Sephora in order to get my hands on some of their merchandise.

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And of course it was at their gorgeous counter where I found their beautiful High Pigment Lip Pencil in Syrah, a lipstick in never knew I wanted but had to have as soon as I swatched it on my lips.

It’s a slightly warm-toned, peachy nude that comes in a convenient stick form, making it perfect for easy touch-ups on the go. While the color is certainly opaque, it is not one of those nudes that wipe out your lips and make you look like you’ve caked them in concealer.

With a nice bit of warmth and a good dose of pigment, this is super flattering and works as a great everyday color. Now I usually go for more pink-toned nudes as they work with my complexion better, but this is neutral enough that it doesn’t clash with my skin tone or makes my teeth look completely yellow.

I’m desperate to pick up some more of their collection, but for now this beautiful lip pencil will do.

Urban Decay Naked Concealer

Another day, another beauty blogger favorite.

After a fair amount of hype throughout the past year, I of course had to pick up a tube of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

It promises full, blendable coverage in a vast array of (very slightly different) shades. The shade I chose was Light Warm, which is a yellow-toned shade that works great on very fair skin tones.

The concealer itself comes with a beautifully bendy sponge-tip applicator that disperses a fair amount of product in one swipe. I’d say one dip of the applicator would suffice easily to conceal every blemish and dark circle on my face with product to spare, so you really get something for your money.

My only caveat with this otherwise beautiful product is that the concealer, which does cover as well as it promises, somewhat settles into the fine lines under my eyes. I tend to set the concealer with a loose powder anyways, which helps a lot, but the most useful tip I found is to apply a swipe of eye primer (the Nars Pro Prime is still my absolute favorite) before going in with concealer. This helps to smooth out any fine lines and provides a bit more longevity to the concealer as well.

All in all, I would recommend the Urban Decay Naked Concealer as it works great on the whole face. Make sure to take some time to choose the right tone and you should be all set!