The first time I decided to treat myself to some special skincare was – you would not have guessed – in the Aldi checkout line. I was quite young, 21, and had a pretty basic routine mainly consisting of a foaming cleanser, an alcohol based toner and some Nivea moisturizer. While waiting in line to pay for my weekly groceries a set of anti-aging ampoules caught my eye. They were expensive (or what I considered expensive back then) and promised intense anti-aging benefits. I picked them up.
One word: Horrible. Way too rich for my skin, giving me breakouts and a day long greasy feeling. Needless to say I never touched ampoules again.
Until recently, that is. Now, 17 years later, they are back in my rotation. But before I talk about my experience with the M. Asam Dormacell Ampoule Beauty Treatment (PR-Sample) in detail, I will answer the most important question first: What is the difference between an ampoule and a serum and do I actually need them in my routine?
Well, an ampoule is basically a serum, but with a much higher concentration of the ingredients and, because they are individually packaged, less need for preservatives. Ampoules are great to use as a treatment when your skin needs a special something, whereas serums are your everyday workhorse. This is, of course, the theory, and as with anything beauty related, the label put on the bottle does not always reflect the product inside.
So how about the M. Asam Dormacell Ampoule Beauty Treatment (PR-Sample)?
It seems to become a tradition that I start my Favorites posts mentioning one thing that would have made it into my monthly recap for sure, had I known it already when filming.
Same thing happened with my May 2017 Favorites and Recap : I had a day off work on the 23rd, managed to sit down to film AND edit this video, and the next day, casually browsing beauty blogs as you do, I learned that Sephora is coming to Germany.
Really, it is, with a set date and all, and the best thing?
Out of the few locations they picked for the launch, Heidelberg, my home town, will be one! To my understanding Sephora will open its doors as part of a warehouse chain called Galeria Kaufhof (already sporting quite a selection of beauty things) in late July, and will most likely not carry the same brands people in the US can buy there.
But as someone deeply in love with many of Sephoras own products (read about them here and here for example) I am over the moon anyway and will make sure to stop by for a shop as soon as possible.
But enough of telling you what did NOT make it into my May 2017 Favorites and Recap, on to the things I actually talk about.
There is a little devil inside me that wants everything to go as planned. Or, even more, to plan everything.
Of course I can hear all mums out there laughing at me, and I KNOW, you can´t plan anything when you have small children, as they will inevitably throw up/ a fit / the keys behind the cupboard when you are pressed for time. But I thought in my own little online bubble, things could be planned. Scheduled out nicely, prepared in advance, uploaded when it was meant to be uploaded.
Like Empties posts, once every three months. One in March (see here) and the next one in June. Quarterly. But wait, is it June already? No. It isn´t.
The video that was supposed to go up instead wasn´t ready. Because my camera decided to throw up/ a fit/ the keys behind the cupboard. Isn´t it funny how electronics sometimes act like little children?
You may have noticed that over the last few posts, I have changed my „ingredients“ setup quite a bit.
I tried typing things out in a continous text, focusing on the ingredients I thought important. Much more enjoyable to read, but too little information.
I tried listing every ingredient, sorted by “Favorable”, “Filler” and “Unfavorable”. Made the blog posts very long. Plus, I am still unsure what is supposed to be a filler ingredient?
And now, doing my very best venturing out into unknown html territory, trying to write out all the ingredients, but hiding them behind a click. That way the post looks less intimidating, but the information is still there for you if you want it.
So there you go: Instytutum Resurfacing Glow Toner (PR-Sample) – the third design attempt. And, funnily enough, my third daily glycolic acid to review on the blog (See number one here and number two here). If that isn´t coincidence!
Do you know what “bias” means? If you have worked in a scientific setting before, chances are you do.
But did you know that as bloggers we are bound to fall for it? I for one am guilty as charged.
Wait. Let me quickly rephrase that: “Guilty” is too harsh a word, and opposed to medical research a blog post is not likely to have a lasting impact on people’s health and well-being.
But despite all our “neutral and independent” claims, we might be falling for one bias or the other.
The “publication bias” is the one that I feel is the most common: You only publish what excites you or gives positive results. Because no one wants to read about a product that was straight boring and we want our blogs to be a happy place. Is that dangerous? Not really. But it prevents us from sharing helpful experiences that could someone else stop from buying.
And then the one that I did struggle with when reviewing the pixi Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse: The social bias. You see, I have been reading Caroline Hirons blog for ages. And after watching her vlogs (that never fail to make me laugh), she grew on me as a person. I enjoyed spending virtual time with her. She became a (very unilateral) online friend. So when she released a cleanser, I knew I had to buy it. And I was prepared to love it.
What I was not prepared for, what I simply did not WANT to happen, was that the pixi Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse would just be okay for me.
They say with little kids at home you are constantly sick. Now I am happy to report that this is absolutely not true for me, I rarely catch the kids bugs.
But in early March I came down with a cold, and it honestly was the worst cold I had in years. Coughing, sneezing and constantly blowing my nose. Pretty soon the skin around it was sore, red and full of dry patches.
I knew I had to exfoliate, but as someone who’s stash mainly consist of strong AHAs that sounded painful. The acid burn is real, people, especially if your skin is sore already.
Now thankfully I have everything and the kitchen sink in my beauty drawer, and a quick rummage brought the Aurelia Refine & Polish Miracle Balm to surface. Honestly the most gentle exfoliator I have used in years, getting rid of my dry patches in a heartbeat while soothing my sore skin!
For someone that went through adolescence before googling personal traits became the norm, trying to find a name or label for what you are could be a challenge. You see, these days I open my browser, type a few keyword and can take a test to tell me if I am intro-, extro- or ambivert.
My 14 year old self had to figure that out all alone. Is being around people invigorating or draining? Would I prefer to stay in or go out? You had to find out on your own.
Which wasn´t a problem. You didn´t really need to have a label anyway, you simply did what felt right.
I kind of picked up on the whole topic again when I read the Instytutum Cleansing Milk (*PR-Sample) press release, as they are quite specific to who this product is designed for: “For those who cherish the tranquility of single footprints in the sand, who revel in the serenity of a glittering lake high in the mountains and who find peace amidst the energy of a bustling city.”
I admit, after a busy day at work and the afternoon spend with two lively (let´s keep things positive here) children that was exactly what I was craving.
Do you remember me gushing about how I wished I lived in a country where winter meant real snow? Like Switzerland?
To be honest, I have rarely been in Switzerland in the winter, but I have been there quite a lot in the summer. It is a great place for hiking, and the green grass, the mountains and the abundance of crystal clear water running down the cracks are a refreshing sight.
This crystal clear water is what plays an important role in the products of the Swiss skin care brand Instytutum. Not water taken directly form a mountain stream though, but water they filter five times to achieve the purest version possible. On top of that they do support a charity (Waves for Water) that provides water filters for communities without access to clean water.
Quite frankly, I am not sure if I personally need the water used in my skincare to be filtered five times, but I love companies that try to give back to those in need and I was excited to have the opportunity to test a few products from their range.
Now you have already seen the Instytutum Anti-Wrinkle Brightening Serum * mentioned in my February favorites, but today you are going to get the full information about ingredients, effects and my final verdict.