Instytutum skincare – Brand overview and giveaway!

Almost exactly a year ago, I received a surprise package from a brand I never had heard of: Instytutum skincare.

Now I am always game for new stuff, and over the last year you have seen it featured multiple times here and in the skincare routines I do on Instagram. A brand focused video was way overdue!


Instytutum Skincare
Instytutum Skincare


Instytutum offers skincare made in Switzerland, was founded by a pharmacist named Dr. Natalia Derkach and is free from parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, artificial colorants and SLES/SLS.

Their water is filtered five times before used in the products and to emphasize the importance of clean water, they do support the „Waves for Water“ charity (website here) by donating all money made from their Alive Water Hydrating Soothing Face Mist.

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Skincare Favorites Giveaway

A little over three years ago, on August 24th 2014, a tired and worn out mother decided to hit publish on her first ever blogpost.

You may have guessed it, that mother was me.

After reading blogs and watching You Tube for more than six years I decided I wanted to create instead of consume. And as much as I would love to tell you that this decision was based on the fact that I knew I had valuable content to contribute (ha!), it wasn´t.


Skincare Favorites Giveaway
Skincare Favorites Giveaway


My daughter had just turned six month, and after spending many years working 60+ hours a week, treating critical ill patients and disputing antibiotic treatments, I was not doing great being a stay at home mum.

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Astor Perfect Stay Fabulous lipsticks and giveaway

I have said it several times before: Red lipsticks are my weakness, and I really don’t need any more of them.

But lucky for me, no one seems to pay any attention to these claims, least of all myself, so I was very excited when a package with the new Astor lipstick range called „Perfect Stay Fabulous“ arrived at my doorstep.

Astor Perfect Stay Fabulous lipsticks
Astor Perfect Stay Fabulous lipsticks


As you can see in the video, it is a lovely selection of reds with different undertones, and I had a hard time deciding which ones would find a permanent home in my makeup bag.


Now if you want to give them a go yourself, head over to my You Tube channel to see them in action and make sure to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter widget below.

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My bad, your luck? – Sunday Riley Start Over Eye Cream and Giveaway

Lately, my daughter discovered that the world isn’t magically going to change to fit her every needs and that her small frame and my watchful eye prevent her from doing whatever she wants.

No coffee for Little Bean, no climbing the windowsill and no playing with the kitchen knifes. Life can be pretty cruel sometimes.
And that leads to a lot of angry tears.

Sunday Riley Start Over Eye Cream (Trial Size)

And even though they really try my patience, I know that this is an important step in her mental development.
It will help her deal with lifes disappointments like the one I had recently.

Let me share the story of Sunday Riley „Start Over“ eye cream.

I have been searching high and low for an eye cream that satisfies the needs of my aging skin, feels effective and contains ingredients to please my skincare obsession.
And just when I thought I had found the one…

What Sunday Riley claims:
Formulated with key ingredients which repair, protect and nourish the delicate eye area while helping you appear more rested and alert. Immediately plumps fine lines and rapidly depuffs the periorbital area. Provides anti-wrinkle, antioxidant, and anti-pollution protection. Instantly cooling and lifting. Provides photostable antioxidants for day use while helping to renew, strengthen and regenerate the periorbital tissues overnight.

The full size contains 30 ml (1 fl oz) and retails for 85 $ here or 65 GBP here. While this is quite a hefty price tag, please keep in mind that a regular eye cream contains 10 – 15 ml, so you get at least double of what you would get with a regular eye cream.
I had a sample containing 10 ml and used it twice daily for almost three months, so the regular size should last you for around six months when used in the mornings and in the evening.

The cream in the full size is packed in an airtight container with a pump, keeping the active ingredients stable. The travel size however comes with one of the cooling metallic applicators I personally dislike, because they just seem to make a big mess instead of distributing the cream evenly.

Sunday Riley Start Over Eye Cream 

The cream feels more like a fluid, is white and sinks in very quickly, leaving the skin around my eyes feeling firm and moisturized.

Favorable ingredients:
– NV5 – Ageless Complex: A mixture of six plant extracts (Prickly Pear, Blue Agave, Lady´s Slipper Orchid, Opuntia Tuna Fruit, Cactus, Aloe) and yeast extract; promoting collagen production, moisturizing and containing antioxidants
– Urea: Hydrating
– Lecithin: Smoothing, hydrating
– Tocopherol: Vitamin E, antioxidant

Unfavorable Ingredients:
– Silicones
– Parabens
– PEGs
– DMDM Hydantoin: Formaldehyd, irritating

As I have stated numerous times before, I don’t have an issue with using parabens, silicones and PEGs, but I know some people try to avoid them, so I list them as unfavorable.

Does it live up to its claims?
It contains ingredients to repair, nourish and protect the skin, it leaves the skin feeling firm and supple. As far as reducing fine lines, depuffing and reducing dark circles goes: Anything hydrating will reduce the appearance of fine lines, my eyes are rarely puffy and I don’t believe that any product except concealer can reduce dark circles. They are mostly genetic.

Will I rebuy?
I love the effect, I really like the ingredients and I would happily pay the price, but…
It stings my eyes.
It didn’t right away, it did only in the evenings, but I just don’t want to spend the money on a product I can’t use consistently.

Who do I recommend it to?

Anyone who gets on with it. 
I don’t know what irritates my eyes, it may be the formaldehyde, but usually my eyes aren’t what I would call sensitive, so I suggest you get a trial size first.
And with this said:
My bad might be your luck!
I still have another travel size in my stash, and as I will not use it, I will give it away to one of my lovely followers.
Yes, it is only a sample size, but it will last you long enough to see if you actually get on with it.
So without further ado. Here is the giveaway!


Sometimes I am afraid of myself – Sheet masks

I, for one, can’t watch scary movies.

And I am not talking the hardcore ones. Literally anything will leave me scared for weeks.

I stopped watching „Supernatural“ after the second episode because I just couldn’t take it.
Even reading about these movies gives me nightmares.
And just in case you wondered: I am 36. Not 12.

I am smiling beneath the mask, promise!

So I have to be extra careful when using one of my Singapore sheet masks, because it may or may not have happened that the surprising sight of myself in the bathroom mirror made me squeal…
As you might have seen in my haul post here, I got quite a lot of them.
To be honest, I just entered the drugstore and grabbed any mask I could get hold of, be they moisturizing, firming, or, always a winner with asian girls, whitening.

There are expensive, high end sheet masks out there, but as I wanted the full on experience without blowing the bank, I stuck to drugstore.

And as a detailed review of all of them would be way to long, I´ll give you a quick rundown of what I got and say a word on the ingredients last.

Classic Korean Sheet Masks 

Classic Korean Sheet Masks:
1. Jeju Tangerine Face Mask: Nourishing, for soft and smooth skin
2. Jeju Seaweed Face Mask: Moisturizing, for hydrating skin
3. Jeju Tsubaki Face Mask: Ultra-soothing, for revitalised skin

2-Step Masks with Moisturizer

Masks with additional Moisturizer:
4. 2-Step America Soothing Pack: Calendula Soothing Mask and Moisturizer
5. 2-Step Oceania Firming Pack: Glasswort Hydrating Mask and Moisturizer
6. 2-Step Africa hydrating Pack: Mango Moisturizing Mask and Moisturizer

2-Step Masks with Cleansers

Masks with additional Cleanser:
7. 2-Step Moisturizing and Repairing Pack: Algae Moisturizing Mud Mask and Cleanser
8. 2-Step Deep Pore Cleansing Pack: Volcanic Oil-Control Mud Mask and Cleanser

Fermented Rice Stem Cell Mask

Stem Cell Masks:
9. Rice Stem Cell Mask: Brightening and Refining
I decided to stay clear of pig placenta and the likes…

So far I have used one of each, except the ones with Cleansers, and found the experience to be pleasant.
Some have a strong smell, you feel absolutely weird when putting them on and your husband/boyfriend/dad/dog will make fun of you for sure, but at the same time they give me the exciting feeling of a Spa day, just because they are so totally different from everything I usually do.

One word on the ingredient list, though:
These are by no means gems of skincare. In fact, they all contain their fare share of preservatives, some contain mineral oil and some parabens.
But on top of that, they do contain great oils, aloe, glycerin and the likes, so they will have an effect. I just wouldn’t want my skincare to solely consist of them.

For me, it is more about the experience than the ingredients here.

If you want to join in to this little „Face-of-Horror“-Party: Here you go!
(Giveaway is open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway