Three months ago, I decided it was time for a fresh start. My empties started piling up, and the cute (and quite big) box I was storing them in was bound to overflow. As I am still trying to shop my stash a lot and finish what is already in there, I was heading straight to trash mountain.
A sight neither pretty nor inspiring.
Now fear not, I am not going to go all Marie Kondo on you. I will never ever be a minimalist, but sometimes you just have to let go.
So in January 2017 I dumped all my stuff into the trash and started again, quickly accumulating what is now my March 2017 Empties.
There was a time when I used to read much more than I do now. I would happily turn page after page, spending the whole weekend wrapped up in a story. These days are long gone, and even though I could blame that on the kids, fact is that if I spend only half the time I am on You Tube reading, I would go through multiple books a week.
The last time I actually read a lot was when we were road tripping through New Zealand (read here, here and here) and I had no wifi. Pathetic.
One of the books I read then was Memoirs of a Geisha (highly recommended), a classic turned into a movie. The description of their beauty rituals was captivating my makeup obsessed mind, mainly the sheer amount of stuff they would slather on their faces on a daily basis. Only the most diligent skincare could have prevented horrible breakouts.
So whenever I now read „Inspired by the Geishas skincare secrets“ I am all ears. And the last time that happened was with Odacité Green Tea Lemongrass Serum
How do you want to age? Smart! Now that is a slogan that is right up my street.
Quite frankly, I don’t really like the term anti-aging.
I do enjoy aging. Not the fact that I get wrinkly, saggy and that it takes me three days to recover from one night out. But the fact that I get to spend another day amongst my loved ones, and the fact that I grow wiser (Is this too bold a claim?) and more forgiving against myself and others. Even though my husband may disagree on the latter.
Like someone once said: The only way to prevent aging is to die young.
So yes, I do want to age. But I want to age smart. And by smart I don’t mean not showing any signs of aging. By smart I mean looking the best I possibly can, adapted at my skins needs. And those needs have changed quite a bit over the last years.
When at first I looked at the Doctor Duve Boosting Face Cream (*PR-Sample), I had in mind to hand it over to my mother. But one cold winter later I was happily slathering it on my own face.
I recently had to battle a dragon in order to free my princess.
Now, not literally a dragon and not really a princess, but it sure felt similar. Or at least how I would imagine it to feel, as dragons are rare these days.
I had to face two middle aged men in order to free some Sephora goodies from customs. They were held captive because no invoice was attached, as I had won them in a giveaway.
The battle went back and forth, me trying to explain beauty blogs, Twitter and giveaways to people that barely grasped the concept of a lipstick, but in the end I was victorious.
Home with me came an adorable set of four Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipsticks, each containing 1.5 g of product. They went by the name Honeycomb (described as a beige nude), Fig (a nude rose), Pepper (a dusty rose) and Nori (a deep brown red and my favorite of them all).
But when March rolls around and spring is at my fingertips, I get an intense craving for warm sun on my face and evenings spend outside. And inevitably my thoughts wander off to sand, sun and sea, to a summer holiday rather than a cozy evening wrapped in a blanket.
Perfect time for a spring clean, some would suggest. As someone that dislikes cleaning with passion I settle for something else though: A makeup and skincare overhaul.
And out of the depths of my skincare drawer (believe me, it is an abyss) came the M. Asam Pure Vitamins Facial Oil. I stared using it on my summer holiday in France last September (fancy a vlog or two?) and replaced it with the slightly richer MV Organics 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic (reviewed here) a few months ago.
If you have been around for a while, you may remember my utter disappointment after trying a few Caudalie products. Another overhyped French brand I thought to myself, loved for being French and their Instagram worthy floral prints.
Especially the “cult favorite”, the infamous Beauty Elixier (Read my review here) made me almost loose interest completely. But the constant appearance all over the blogosphere and the fact that you can’t do one step when on holiday in France without having it shoved into your face made me weak.
Just one more thing, I said. Just one.
Why I did end up purchasing the biggest size available though will forever remain a mystery. I guess the “sale” sticker had fogged my mind.
So, once again, Caudalie. The Caudalie Grape Water, to be precise. Did that one at last convince me?
Do you remember the „Bag of Empties“ I showed you in a recent video? I have a similar one filled with new makeup goodies that I wanted to try on camera. It takes a lot of self-control not to just rip them open once I have them, but I really want to be more mindful about the things I own and use, so I made myself wait.
Until today: Time to dig into some fresh stuff. Live and on camera! KIKO is a brand I had on my mind quite some time already, and despite owning a few bits, I did not feel ready to form an opinion on the brand.
And we all know, having a proper opinion on a makeup brand is quite important.
pixi on the other hand is a brand that I have worked with before, and while I am excited by their skincare, the makeup I tried was nice, but not mind-blowing. And nice is never enough in this world of competitive makeup.
When I grew up, I had an amazing family doctor. In fact, I still have her, now that I moved back to my hometown. I grew up with a lot of faith in her decisions, recommendations and in her as a person. Problem is: I extended that to all the other doctors I would consult. Be it my dermatologist for cystic acne aged 12, my gynecologist once I turned 14 or, later in life, my tutors and teachers when studying medicine myself.
But I assure you, I learned. Doctors are only humans. And while that is not a problem per se, not all of them are humans I personally want to spend my time with. In fact, I have very few doctor friends. But the ones I have are amazing.
Now whenever I see a doctors brand in skincare, I am on the fence: Is this the brand of one doctor human being that knows his stuff and brings us scientific expertise? Or is this the brand of a human being that would label utter crap with “doctor” for the sake of money? Believe me, I have seen both.
Today I am introducing Doctor Duve Medical Skincare, a brand founded by Dr. med Stefan Duve in 2009. Doctor Duve Boosting Eye Cream * – did it convince?
I have to admit, when I first started using the M. Asam Pure Vitamins Retinol Youth Concentrate *, I was a little at loss. I had only Sunday Riley Luna to compare it to, and as you can read here that one left me a little confused about the hype. Now I had another retinol on my hands, claiming to be gentle and suitable for sensitive skin, and while I couldn´t disagree with that, I just had no idea what a regular retinol would feel like.
But then I went to see my dermatologist. And because I suffer from cystic acne around my jaw line, we decided to try a prescription strength retinol. To ease into it, we started with the lowest available concentration.
Usually my skin is combination/oily and not sensitive at all. It takes everything without complaining. But one week in with the treatment and it was an irritated, dehydrated mess.
And in the light of this new experience, I feel quite different about the M. Asam Pure Vitamins Retinol Youth Concentrate *.
When I was little, way before most of you were even born, we would get milk directly from a farmer. I grew up in a proper city, not out in the country, but my parents made an effort to raise us as „green“ as possible in a time where buying organic in a supermarket was unheard of.
So among baking our bread at home and growing vegetables on a small piece of land, there was a farmer that would drive into our neighborhood once a week and sell milk to the people living there. Poured fresh into a churn.
Freshly poured milk smells nothing like the one you buy in stores. The scent is way more intense, has a hint of sour already and just smells … warm. If you have ever experienced it, you will know what I mean.
The Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cleanser smells exactly the same to me. Which is strange, because it is 100% vegan and contains no milk for sure.