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Is it tone-deaf to do a haul in the current pandemic situation? This is one of the questions I asked myself before I sat down to write this blog post. I know many people struggle right now to make ends meet, and buying new stuff is not within their reach. On the other hand skincare as self care has become very important in our attempts to have structure in our day, and more and more people are looking for products that work for their concerns – and of course for distraction from their daily struggles.
In the end I did what every blogger does when they need an answer – I asked you guys on Instagram, and the overwhelming majority wanted to see what was new in my stash. So here it is: Everything I purchased in the post-Christmas sales and a little bit of PR that I will add in the end.
It might feel a little counter intuitive, but I think winter is the perfect time to try new sunscreens: I can get a feel for them on my skin without worrying about constant reapplication, see how they work layered with different products and if they don’t quite offer the protection that was claimed on the label (which has happened recently as you surely know) it’s not that bad because I’m indoors most of the time.
I decided to try two new Korean ones, the first one being the Cica Regen Anti-Dust Sun Gel from Doctor Ceuracle. I don´t think this one was part of the recent re-testing of Korean sunscreens (at least I did not find any information on that), but I admit I am a left feeling a little insecure about the claimed SPF 50+ on the label, given recent events. But as I said – it is winter and I am indoors most of the time, so it is currently in my daily rotation.
The second one is still unopened, for two reasons: The Keep Cool Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence WAS part of the recent retesting, and as far as I know did not score too well (“not too well” being a polite understatement), so it seems to be more of a moisturizer, out of which I already have a few. The second reason is that Keep Cool did not react too well to questions about their protection factor, apparently they threatened to sue influencers voicing their concerns and in general tried to silence the discussion – all of which does not make me want to promote the brand or give them my money. Quite frankly, had I known all that before I made my purchase, this one would not be featured here.
Geek & Gorgeous Skincare
This purchase is completely inspired by the people commenting on my YouTube channel. When I said in my “Best of Beauty 2020” video that I had yet to find a Vitamin C serum that lived up to my standards, two came with high praise: The Timeless Vitamin C Serum and the Geek & Gorgeous C-Glow Serum. Timeless is not easy to get from Germany, with shipping being several weeks depending on where you order from, so I found myself on the Geek & Gorgeous website browsing their offerings.
What initially drew me in was the fact that the serum is made fresh every week, so while it might take a few days until your order is shipped because you have to wait for a new batch to be made, that also means that when you receive your product, you can be sure it is at the beginning of its shelf-life, very important for L-Ascorbic Acid products that tend to oxidize quickly. You are also supposed to keep it in the fridge to prolong the effectiveness even further, so I will do as told and report back in a few weeks time if it did live up to my expectations.
And because I already was on the website, had to pay shipping and wanted to get a feel for the brand, I put two more things in my basket: The Jelly Joker, a low pH cleanser that supposedly can take off make up as well as cleanse the skin, and Liquid Hydration, which is a soothing and hydrating toner formulated with Panthenol. In case you know the brand already, is there anything else you would recommend I should try?
Cult Beauty Skincare Haul
For even more hydration I picked up two Hyaluronic Acid serums with my latest Cult Beauty order, one being an old favorite of mine, The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum (read more about it here) – in my opinion the best budget Hyaluronic Acid Serum on the market. The other one is also a repurchase, the Tan Luxe Super Glow Serum (full review here), a hydrating serum with added self-tan. It claims some extra “superfood”-benefits with the ingredients, but these don’t interest me much to be honest. I am here for the beautiful healthy glow it adds to my face, making me look as if I spend a week on holiday without ever being streaky or orange.
Cult Beauty Hair Care Haul
More Hyaluronic Acid, but this time for the hair: The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hair Serum. I talked about the hair and scalp treatments last summer (read here), and this one was the one that really stood out to me. It is SO good at reducing Frizz in my bleached ends that are long overdue a cut and I could really see a difference once I ran out of it. Does it have a long term repairing effect? I don´t think so, what already is broken can not be fixed with a treatment, but it improves the look and manageability and maybe even prevents further damage.
Damage prevention and frizz control also inspired the two next purchases: Silk scrunchies and a silk turban, both aiming to reduce breakage by being extra gentle on the hair.
I admit I was very reluctant to buy scrunchies, I already was old enough to wear the velvet ones when they were in fashion the first time around, and I am not very eager to recreate any of the looks I deemed trendy back then. The silk nature and their muted color palette combined with the need to tie back my hair back more often in video conferences make these feel like a more grown-up purchase and not so much like the desperate attempt to relive my neon-dominated youth.
Way less muted in color is the silk turban called “The Poppy” in orange and violet. These turbans are worn at night to protect the hair from the friction that comes from tossing and turning on your pillow and promise “good hair days only”. I can already tell you that my husband is disappointed by my newest acquisition, he surely expected something else when I said I bought a little silky piece to wear to bed.
Oh well, he´ll get over it.
PR: Good Molecules Yerba Mate Wake Up Eye Gel
I have talked about this brand several times before on this blog (you can find the reviews here), and I know I still owe you a review of their Rosewater Daily Cleansing Gel, so no long introduction is needed. This new addition is supposed to be used in the mornings to “wake up the eye area” with the help of Yerba Mate extract, which is grown in the rain forest in Brazil and is supposedly rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. Now if you hear “rain forest” and are concerned about sustainability, rest assured that according to Good Molecules they work with the Araucaria+ Initiative to guarantee traceability and sustainable forest management. If Yerba Mate as ingredients warrants the extra efforts needed compared to other antioxidants is a valid question I can not answer just yet – I need to look into it more. Expect me to report back in due time.
PR: Juno & Co
I admit I had not heard about the brand Juno & Co when they reached out to me, mostly because they are big on TikTok, where I don´t spend any time, and probably also because their best selling product is the JUNO & Co Moonshine Primer. If you have been around here for a while, you will know that I rarely wear primer (and basically stopped wearing foundation during last year anyway), so I am not exactly the best person to test this one. They offered to send it over anyway, with their newer addition, the Clean 10 Cleansing Balm (more on this later). Upon first glance it seems to be a pretty rich moisturizer texture, so we will see if I can put it to good use.
The Clean 10 Cleansing Balm is something that I am much more excited about – I love Cleansing Balms, especially in winter, and didn’t have one open at the moment, so this package came right in time. And in case you are wondering, it is called Clean 10 because it is a cleanser and only made of 10 ingredients. Yes, there are the usual annoying “free from” claims on the website, but it is not as in your face as on other ones, so I am willing to overlook that. (You can read here why I am no fan of Clean Beauty)
In the picture above you can also see their Mirofibre Lemon Drop Sponge, basically a Beautyblender dupe. There are several different colors available on the website, should you want a colorful makeup sponge.
Have you tried anything I have mentioned here? Thoughts?
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