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.
Retinol. A skincare ingredient most of you will have heard of, yet one many are unsure about. Rightly so?
No. If you ask me, and you kind of do by visiting this blog, anyone should use a Vitamin A product. The question is not if, the question should be which one!
And to help you answer that I sat down and recorded a video, answering all the question I had received throughout the last months. Of course the title “Everything you need to know” is hybris and should not stop you from asking away in the comments. But it is catchy, don´t you think?
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.
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?