Taking out the trash 15 – My December 2017 Empties

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Did you know that on public holidays as well as on every Sunday, stores are closed in Germany? No quickly popping into town to get some food, no aimlessly wandering around looking for cute things to buy.

A public holiday (or every Sunday) is a holiday for everyone. Even the people working in retail.That may change, no matter how you personally feel about it, but at the moment it is my reality.


December 2017 Empties
December 2017 Empties


And every year I watch clips of the Boxing Day madness going on in other parts of the world from the comfort of my own home. I pat my belly, shift my weight from one side to the other (yes, the Christmas indulgence does bring back memories of the late stages of pregnancy) and wonder: Is there still anything we need to buy?

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Taking out the trash VI – June 2016 Empties

Empties and watermelon – is there anything else you need for a chilled summer evening? I don’t think so.

This months version features a lot of Antipodes products, which brings back memories of our road trip to New Zealand. And of course turns up the ancient question:

Why does everything always have to run out at the same time?

Taking out the trash VI - June 2016 Empties

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May 2016 Favorites

Before my Favorites-break I used to do “Favorite Face of..” posts, where I showed you my most worn makeup in the form of a miniature tutorial.

But looking back now, only a few things that I used really were true favorites. Many of the things (like concealers or mascara) just got applied for the sake of finishing them. And on top of that my everyday makeup isn’t probably something you really want to see, as it is a little repetitive over time.


May 2016 Favorites
May 2016 Favorites


So I decided to go for a true monthly favorites style this time, including makeup, skincare and a few other things that have been entertaining me, conveniently summarized as lifestyle, which can be almost anything.


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My evening skincare routine – Winter 2016

You know, it sometimes takes some time to actually convince myself to face the camera completely without makeup, but as my appearance improves during the course of the video, I relax.

Now doing it the other way round, starting with a full face of makeup and turning myself into a concealer-less, scrubbed face person with oil all over was strange, to say the least.


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But you asked for it and here it is: My evening skincare routine.

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Childhood memories – Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum

One of my most cherished childhood memories is going into the woods with my sisters and picking berries.
The berries, the scent of moss and the warmth of summer in my mind all come together to form the perfect picture of a family day, of seemingly endless summers and of being a wild and free child.

Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum

Oddly enough I don’t think it ever happened.
I mean, we went picking berries and we went to the woods, but the exact memory that comes up in my head most likely never took place that way, but was part of a book I enjoyed reading back then. Most likely “Summer in Sweden” or “Ferien auf Saltkrokan” (“Life on Seacrow Island”).
That would explain why I always smell the sea in my memories, even though I grew up in the South of Germany with no ocean around for miles.

But in the end it doesn’t matter.
I enjoy my memories, may they be real or fantasies, and whenever I smell Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum I am right back sitting on the moss on a hot summers day, eating berries with my whole family around.

What Antipodes claims:
A silky night serum that helps rescue dry, damaged skin. Himalayan goji berry boasts up to 19 amino acids to help optimise our skin´s appearance.
Red raspberry seed oil blends with New Zealand blackcurrant, a rich source of essential fats like gamma-linolenic acid, South Pacific hibiscus flower freshens your complexion, while berry fragrance imparts pure joy. Suited to normal and ultra-dry skin conditions.

Like all the Antipodes serums and oils I have tried so far this one comes in a darkened glass bottle with a dropper and an apothecary feel to it.

Close up of the dropper

One bottle contains 30 ml (1.0 fl Oz) and retails for 54€ on Amazon here. I can´t get Antipodes that easy in store here, but recommended retail price would be 41€, so a little search on different websites might set you up with a bargain compared to that.
I use it maybe three times a week, started in March and still have about a third of it left. Two to three drops are enough to cover face, neck and décolleté.

Despite being labelled “serum” it sure feels and looks like an oil to me. After applying it to my face it takes a little longer to sink in than the Antipodes Divine Facial Oil, but still is comfortable to use and not at all greasy on my combination skin.

The smell, already mentioned above, is very earthy and herbal with a touch of wild berries. I personally love it, but if you are into floral or sweet scents, try and sniff it before buying.

Favorable ingredients:
– Blackcurrant fruit oil: Rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and GLA
– Goji Fruit extract: Rich in amino acids, needed to build protein and repair skin
– Raspberry Seed oil: Rich in essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6, nourishing
– Hibiscus flower: Brightening and mildly exfoliationg
– Reishi mushroom: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial

Unfavorable Ingredients:
– Fragrances derived from essential oils: potentially irritating

Does it live up to its claims?
Of course I can´t really tell if the protein in my skin repairs more easily because I use amino acids on my face, but I notice any dryness visibly reduced and my skin feeling hydrated, soft and calm.

Will I rebuy?
It is a little too rich for me in summer, so I save it for a day working long hours in AC environment, but I can see me reaching for it far more often now that winter comes.

Who do I recommend it to?

Anyone, probably with the exception of very oily skinned people.
You can use it on normal to combination skin as well as on acne prone one, the ingredients read like the organic who-is-who of anti-ageing and although a little pricey it will last you quite some time.
If you are dry skinned and aging (aren’t we all sooner or later?) you will absolutely love this.Have you given that one a go already?
And what is your favorite childhood memory (real or not, I don’t care)?

I am on holiday in France at the moment, so if responding to your comments is a little slower than usual, please bare with me, I will make up for it.


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What is the color of Meh? – Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

They say that everyone has an aura surrounding its body.
Some people are even able to see it or feel it.
The colors are said to give you information about the person itself and about ones current state of mind.

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Treatment Mask

Now I cant see these colors, nor feel them, and I never had the urge to have someone explore my aura before.
But after buying a product hyped all over YouTube and using it for a couple of times, I couldn’t help but wonder if my feelings could have been seen by someone able to read my aura.

The product I am talking about? Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Treatment Mask.

What Antipodes claims:
Cleanse deeply your skin and your spirit with this luscious face mask that leaves skin soothed and intensively hydrated. Manuka honey Active 20+ has potent antibacterial properties to cleanse and help clear blemishes. Bring peace and balance to your aura with divine fragrances of vanilla pod and mandarin.
Suited to most skin conditions, especially blemish prone and dehydrated.

One tube contains 75 ml (2.5fl oz) and retails for 31€ on Amazon here. Prices may differ depending on where you live, as Antipodes isn’t available on a counter everywhere.

The mask itself feels like a thick cream, is white and easily spreadable. To be honest, I am always reminded of the big blue pot of Nivea cream I used to own as a kid, and the way that cream would feel on my face.
The smell, of course, is totally different. Sweet mostly, with no trace of the above mentioned mandarin, at least to my nose. But honey and vanilla in a very subtle way are a great way to describe it.

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

It says on the packaging you should use it within six months, and unless you apply it daily this is about as long as the product will last you. I tend to use it once or twice a week and leave it on the recommended 15 minutes or longer, depending on what I am doing that night.

Favorable ingredients:
– Manuka honey Active 20+: Antibacterial, antiinflammatory, soothing
– Avocado Oil: Rich in monosaturated fats and vitamins (especially Vitamin E)
– Glycerin: Hydrating
– Vinanza Grape grapeseed extract: Hydrating, smoothing, firming
– Carrot Oil: Antiinflammatory, tightening, rich in antioxydants
– Pohutukawa flower extract: moisturizing, antiseptic, rich in antioxidants
– Tocopherol (Vitamin E): Antioxidant

Unfavorable Ingredients:
– Essential Oil fragrances

Does it live up to its claims?
I really want to believe it does all it says on the packaging and as far as the ingredients go it sure has the properties to do so, but I just cant feel or see it.
I have seen neither improvement nor worsening of blemishes, my skin doesn’t feel thoroughly cleansed and while it does feel calm and hydrated, these are no big concerns for me at the moment.

Will I rebuy?
I really want to love it re-reading the ingredient list, but I feel I am the wrong person to use it.

Who do I recommend it to?

If dehydration or angry skin are an issue as well as blemishes or if you are looking for organic and vegetarian skincare, this might be a great face mask for you.
If you are more blemish-prone, but not dehydrated, I would opt for an AHA or BHA face mask instead.
And if you are able to see a persons aura, please let me know if this face masks adds peace and balance when used.
I felt it just added a little bit of disappointment to mine.

What do you think of aura reading?
And have you tried this mask before?

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The answer to your prayers? – Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin Plumping Serum

I like to introduce the products I review with a little story.
Sharing some memories or something new I learned with you that somehow is related to the product I am talking about feels more like girl´s talk and less like an advertisement.

But some of the products leave me clueless.
I knew I wanted to tell you about Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum.
Now how to start? And what on earth does Hosanna really mean?

Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum

Of course, I turned to Wikipedia.
Hosanna (or Hosianna) is either a cry of joy or a cry for help directed at God in times of need and very often used on Palm Sunday to address Jesus.
Very interesting, but it still left me wondering what Antipodes wanted to tell us with naming their serum this way. Is it the answer to a cry for help when it comes to dehydrated skin?
Let´s see.

What Antipodes claims:
Plump up your skin contour with this water-charged and oil-free bioactive serum that immediately quenches thirsty skin while helping to intensively improve skin appearance over time. It keeps skin super-hydrated, while revolutionary antioxidant Vinanza Grape antioxidant from New Zealand sauvignon blanc grapes helps powerfully protect and build resistance damage caused by environmental aggressors and pollutants. Extract of mamaku black fern helps foster cell renewal, making this an everyday essential for plump, healthy, youthful skin. Perfect for all skin conditions, especially dehydrated.

One bottle contains 30 ml (1.0 fl oz) and retails for around 38 € in your local pharmacy or on Amazon here.
The container is one of the typical Antipodes apothecary bottles with a little pipette. I know many people dislike them, and while I agree they are impractical when it comes to traveling and not air-tight, I love the retro feel and the way they look on my shelves.

Antipodes products are vegetarian (sometimes vegan), 100% natural and 95% organic.

Using it every morning the bottle lasted me around three months. It took three drops to cover my entire face and neck.

The pipette and the product 

The smell is herbal, but not unpleasant and doesn’t linger to long.
What took me by surprise was the yellow-brownish color: I would have expected something clear, but it should be about the ingredients, not the color anyway.

After application the serum feels quite tacky on the skin, but that dissolves after a few seconds.

Favorable ingredients:
– Lavendula angustifolia distillate: Antibacterial, balances dry or oily skin
– Waiwera artesian water: Water, but rich in minerals like magnesium and calcium.
– Mamaku black fern leaf: Promotes cell renewal.
– Vinanza grape grapeseed extract: Rich in antioxidants, hydrating.
– Xanthum gum: Improves skin firmness

Unfavorable Ingredients:
– Essential oils: Can be irritating to sensitiv skin

My biggest surprise was that it didn’t contain any form of Hyaluronic Acid, the one ingredient found in almost anything claiming to be hydrating and the one thing I associate the most with the tacky feeling I got.

Does it live up to its claims?
The claims are quite big (intensively improve, super hydrated, revolutionary antioxidant complex), and I haven’t really found too much scientific backup on, lets say, the benefits of “charged water”.
But it contains a nice blend of antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients to back up at least part of the claims.
My skin did feel hydrated and it helped in reducing some dry patches I had acquired during my travels earlier this year.

Will I rebuy?
Most likely.
I still have a shitload few other options waiting to be tested, but I really liked this one and can see me repurchasing it in the near future.

Who do I recommend it to?
If dehydrated, aging skin is your concern and you are looking for a serum that can be worn under makeup to add to your morning skincare routine, give this one a go.
If you are looking for an all natural approach to skincare, Antipodes have some great stuff to offer.
But please stay away if you are sensitive to essential oils.
So is this the answer to your skins cry for help? I guess that depends on your needs and how strongly you want to believe in a miracle.

How about you:
Does this sound intriguing?
And would you have known the meaning of Hosanna?

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Feeling like a goddess – Antipodes Divine Face Oil

I have to admit, as much as I like the “Channel your inner goddess”-spirit, I find it hard to establish in my everyday life.

Somewhere between the continuous lack of sleep, changing diapers and the fact that I spend most of my day dressed in a two piece that would easily pass as blue pyjama (but isn’t nearly as comfortable of course), I lost my inner deity.
Antipodes Divine Face Oil
Now there are several ways to reconnect with your spiritual self, and I by no means want to touch them here on this blog. 
They are important, personal and full of deep meaning.
But as we are on a beauty blog, let´s focus on the superficial things like Antipodes Divine Face Oil.

I have stated several times before that my evening skincare routine is the perfect way to unwind after a long and hectic day. The scents, the textures, the fact that I am on my own, in a bathroom, door closed… Pure bliss!
One of my recent additions are a bunch of Antipodes products that will make their appearance on this blog now after some serious testing.
What Antipodes claims:
Give a lift to tired, stressed and sun-damaged skin with this nutrient rich face oil that helps deliver the antioxidants and nourishment essential for fresh, healthy skin. Superior collagen-boosting action of avocado oil helps reduce the appearance of lines, age spots and scars. Perfect as an essential daily nutrient treatment for skin.
Scientifically shown to stimulate Type I collagen production in human fibroblast skin cells by up to 51%.
Suitable for most skin conditions, especially dry and combination.

One bottle contains 30 ml and retails for 29 € here.
I have been using it every other night for three months straight and still have more than half of it left, so I estimate it will last you around four months if used once daily.

The packaging is the typical Antipodes one, featuring a dark glass bottle and a pipette. While this may be a little inconvenient for traveling, I really love the pipette and the laboratory feeling I get when using it.
Skincare is science!

Two drops of this, three drops of that… Mixing the perfect potion.

The oil looks just like you would expect and oil to look and smells like nuts.
Not unpleasant, just unexpected (don’t all skincare products smell like roses somehow?)

Important things first: It doesn’t leave an oily film on my skin.
I usually apply it around 8 pm and it has sunk in completely until bedtime, and in case you don’t apply it right before you lay down your pillows should be safe, too.

Favorable ingredients:
– Avocado Oil: Hydrating, rich in antioxidants, unsaturated fats and vitamins
– Macadamia Nut Oil: Lipid replenishing
– Jojoba Oil: Rich in antioxydants, lipid replenishing
– Rosehip Oil: Reduces scars, soothing
– Tocopherol: Vitamin E, antioxidant

(Unfavorable) Other Ingredients:
– Preservatives
– Essential Oil Fragrances (jasmin, sweet orange rind)

The preservatives are all safe for use in organic skincare, and the essential oil fragrances shouldn’t bother you if your skin isn’t overly sensitive, so I relabeled it from “Unfavorable” to “Other”.
You have to see for yourself if they cause irritation on your skin.

Does it live up to its claims?
In most parts.
It is nutrient-rich and provides you with a lot of antioxidants, it is suitable for dry and combination skin, and I would even go that far and recommend it even for oily skinned girls.

The one thing that slightly annoys me is the claim of “up to 51% stimulation of Typ 1 Collagen production”. I don’t call BS on it, don’t get me wrong, but it refers to in vitro experiments that can’t easily be transferred to living skin. Apart from that, the key words are “up to”. That means it is 51% maximum or less.
Or translated: It may improve Collagen production significantly in your skin. Or not.

Will I rebuy?
I love the effect it has on my skin and I feel it is well worth it´s money. Of course there are other oils out there I want to try, but this one has owned a place in my cabinet for the time to come.

Who do I recommend it to?

Anyone concerned about aging and its prevention. 
Mostly organic ingredients, great for all skintypes and jam packed with nutrients.
What´s not to love?
Have you tried anything from Antipodes before?
And when have you last connected with your inner goddess?


The exception from the rule – Collective Haul

I have mentioned several times before, I put myself on a spending ban when the Little Bean was born.

That was how I imagined it to be.

The reasons were various:
I own so much makeup, I could probably go for two years straight without the need to buy something new.
I have a bathroom cabinet dedicated to unused skincare I really wanted to try.
I wanted to get use out of the products I really love, instead of hoarding them until they were far beyond expiration date and went to the bin almost unused.
I wanted to cut back on my expenses. Going from “Double Income, No Kids” to me staying at home for one year had a major impact on the bank balance, and I wanted to save up for our family adventure in New Zealand.
And last but not least, I wanted to get more sensible with spending in general. Like, looking what I really want, not buying red lipstick number eight, just because I saw it at the drugstore.

I am proud to say it didn’t go too bad.
But of course, there are exceptions from every rule.
Let me introduce you to the biggest ones yet: New Zealand, Singapore and my birthday!

Birthday Goodies

Lets do the birthday stuff first.
Technically, not everything was a birthday present. The lipstick and the palette were given to me by my wonderful friend Pia just because.
But as they were a gift, it felt right to include them into the birthday part.

1. Skincare:
Last time I was at my parents, I carefully instructed my mother and sister on the different skincare lines The Body Shop offers and which sound promising enough for me to keep them on my wishlist. They got the not so subtle hint and I will soon be testing:
– Camomile Cleansing Balm
– Nutriganics Drops of Youth Youth Enhancing Concentrate (yes, this is double youth in there)
– Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask
– Drops of Youth Eye Serum

2. Makeup:
– Clinique Chubby Stick for eyes in “Bountiful Beige”
– Lipstick Queen lipstick in “Saint Coral” (read the explanation on Sinner and Saint over at Eyespaintedblack)
– Revolution Redemption Palette Iconic 3, which is said to be a dupe for the Naked 3

Heading over to New Zealand:
I HAD to get some Antipodes skincare while there, because they are a NZ based brand I had never tried before and finally could get my hands on, and while I was browsing a Revlon counter, it came to my notice they had a GWP including eyeshadow, a lipstick, a mascara and a nail polish. It would have been a sin to pass on that, since we don’t have Revlon here in Germany anyway.

Antipodes Joyous Serum, Divine face Oil, Hosanna Serum and Aura Manuka Honey Mask

1. Skincare:
– Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum, packed with antioxidants
– Divine Face Oil Organic Avocado Oil & Rosehip, aimed at scars and breakouts
– Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum, meant for hydration (obviously)
– Aura Manuka Honey Mask, for dehydrated, blemish-prone skin

Left to right: Kissable Pink LS, Cherrys in the Snow LS, Really Red LS, Impressionist ES Palette, Bewitching NP, Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair, Photoready 3D Volume Mascara in Black

2. Makeup:
– Lipstick 805 “Kissable Pink” (Shine): GWP, as I usually don’t gravitate towards light pinks
– Lipstick 440 “Cherries in the Snow” (Crème): Sat on my wishlist for almost two years.
– Lipstick 006 “Really Red” (Matte): You remember me saying I own to many red lipsticks?
– Colorburst Matte Balm 240 “Striking”: Red in matte and as crayon. I think I have a problem.
– Eyeshadow palette 505 “Impressionist”: GWP, I don’t really like palettes, but the colors seem nice.
– Nailpolish 620 “Bewitching”: GWP. I have never heard about Revlon nail polishes before.
– Photoready 3D Volume Mascara in 001 “Blackest Black”: GWP. Volume sounds good.
– Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 1 “Fair”: Recommended by The Painted Rogue. She knows where the best loot is.

Last stop Singapore:
You can’t be a You Tube lover without hearing about sheet masks. Of course, they are available via the World Wide Web, but buying them hands on in a supermarket has a whole different level of satisfaction to offer.
Looking back, I might have gone a little overboard. Expect me to look like I just stepped out of a horror movie at least five evenings a week.
And maybe I was thoughtful enough to stock up for a little giveaway coming soon.

So many Sheet Masks! And a 100 ml Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair II

The Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair II (Review here) finally was a necessity, as my last one has just a few drops left and you can get the 100 ml bottle as a travel exclusive only.
But I have to admit, I had a hard time convincing Mr. Loca that this time I was actually saving money.

I think it is safe to say that when it comes to breaking the rules, my motto is “Go big or go home!”.

What was your last splurge?
Any thoughts on the items I purchased?