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.
If you have been around for a while in the blogosphere, you might remember the hype that was Bioderma Micellar Water. It was long before Micellar Water was available in every drugstore, and only a few months after I had started reading beauty blogs. Ah, back in the days.
No big deal, I thought, and quickly put it on the shopping list for my next visit to France. And no big deal it was. A quick stop at a French pharmacy and two big bottles were mine.
It was only then when I realized that if I had lived in the States, it would, in fact, have been a big deal. The only way you could get your hands on it in the US was through Amazons marketplace, and even if you put all trust issues aside (which you definitely shouldn´t), you still were charged about three times the price you paid in a pharmacy.
And boy, I do love my Bioderma, but it is not worth 60 bucks. Read more
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.
You may have noticed there wasn´t a Favorites post last month. Quite frankly, after doing my Favorites for 2016 (see Makeup and Skincare here in case you missed them), I felt like there wasn´t much to report.
So I settled for February Favorites and a short break, mentally preparing to have a really big list of things to mention.
Turns out, that isn´t the case. I do have quite a few makeup bits, but only one skincare item (shocking, I know) and I completely forgot about the lifestyle category. Bad Vlogger indeed.
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?
Of course I had expectations when starting this challenge. Some were met, some weren´t and I was in for a few surprises. Caffeine withdrawal, for example.
And of course I had some expectations after finishing. Which I, technically, just did yesterday. But it was my birthday a week ago, and six weeks was all about incorporating the changes you made for the last weeks into your daily life, so we decided to see how a day with sugar would affect our general mood and well-being.
I had some cake in the morning. I had some sweets with my co-workers at the office to celebrate. I had more cake in the afternoon.
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?
Something I realize now that the challenge is on the home stretch: I am an impatient person. The closer the end is, the more I want to be done with it.
Actually this realization isn´t that new, and may be contributing to the fact that I sometimes quit right before a task is 100% accomplished, simply because I can´t be bothered to spend any more time on it.
I was relieved to learn in one of my management courses that there is a name for this behavior and that it is, actually, a desirable feature.
How come, you ask? Please let me explain: When taking blog pictures, how often is the first one you take the only one? How often do you look at the screen and tell yourself: Yes, that one will do just fine?
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 *.