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Have you ever heard about mediation? No, I am not missing a t in the word. Mediation means you work with two different sides, usually people in a conflict and try to get them to common ground. Take a divorce with kids involved for example. Mediation will help the conflicting parties, the parents in this case, work out their issues with a professional to actually achieve a fair and manageable separation.
But because the topic of divorced parents isn´t a pleasant one, let´s move on to another example. Skincare.
I mean, you knew you could trust me to come back to that topic eventually, couldn´t you?
In skincare sometimes different people take different sides, often with very strong opinions. So today I will do my very best to mediate between Eve Lom on one side, claiming their EVE LOM Cleanser is “remarkable, multi-purpose, the original balm cleanser” and beauty bloggers calling it “glorified mineral oil”.
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Are we ever as unique as we like to think? Most of us, especially those that have any kind of creative outlet online, like to think that their content is fresh and special and easily distinguable from others.
We put “our own twist” on things, have a theme in our pictures and invent fancy names for even fancier blog post series.
And then, one day, we take a step back and realize we are doing what everyone around us does as well. Slightly different, maybe, but not as extraordinary as we would have liked to believe.
Last time that happened to me was with my Favorite posts. You may remember I started to get bored (struggled to find enough new things) to keep up a monthly series.
I decided to turn it into a “New In and short reviews” kind of video.
Which didn´t satisfy me either.
Finally, what a revelation, I decided to only do them occasionally.
Turns out, quite a few of my favorite blogs went there already, posting whenever they felt like doing it. I am so yesterday…
But you know what? I don´t care. Sometimes you don´t have to be unique, you can take inspiration to find whatever works best for you and happily stick with it, knowing that quite a few people seem to feel the same way.
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Abbrevations are always a source of amusement for me. As are alliterations (see what I did there?), but for a different kind of reason. The abbrevations you use tell a lot about where you are coming from and, as there are multiple uses for most of them, can lead to quite some confusion.
Take TCD for example. For the longest time, a TCD to me was a transcranial Doppler, something you do in neurosurgical patients to evaluate cerebral bloodflow. Google told me that TCD could as well mean Tschad or Trinity College Dublin.
So if I tell you now that the Instytutum Flawless Skin Mask works with TCD, which image pops up in your head? Well, let me explain what TCD stands for in this case: Transdermal cosmetic delivery, a method that allows ingredients to better penetrate the skin. There are several ways to achieve that, like using ingredients that weaken skins barrier function (alcohol for example) or using specific low molecular weight ingredients. Or, and I assume that this is what is used here, combining the low molecular weight ingredients with an occlusive layer on top.
So how did the Instytutum Flawless Skin Mask * work for me?
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In a world where science based blogs pop up right left and center, I want to draw attention to an aphorism that, albeit in different form, has been around for as long as 300 BCE:
“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
Or, put more simple: Just because we don´t have proof that something works, that doesn´t mean that it doesn´t work. Maybe we just don´t have the research to back it up.
Especially in skin care, not all of the myriad ingredients have been put through the process of statistical and evidence based approval. Some just have been around forever, together with claims that may or may not be true.
So please do take the information I give you in this article with a pinch of salt. Just because some ingredients in the Skin 689 Firm Skin products *have not scientifically proven to firm the skin, that does not mean that they actually don´t. You have to see for yourself whether or not you think they might work for you.
Let me take you way back in time, when we had only one continent, mammoths would roam the fields of grass and I was a little girl just turned 13.
It was the night after a long and exhausting week at school (ha, little did I know!) and I had decided, all mature and grown up, that I would run a bath for relaxation. And because I was lacking the fancy salts and scented candles I had glimpsed on tv (I told you it was long ago), I grabbed the next best thing I had on hand. A tiny bottle of essential oil I used to diffuse in my oil burner.
If you have ever done anything similar, you know what is coming: Getting into the bath was the most horrible experience ever, because little me did not know that you can´t just use these oils in your bath and on your skin. You will have to treat them properly, or they will burn.
I have learned a lot since then (and not seen a mammoth in a while), and I have gone back to using essential oils in my skincare. But I will never forget how strong and irritant they can be.
Now here am I going with that little anecdote of mine? Well, the Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser I am going to review today contains quite a few essential oils, listed among “Favorite” or “Other” ingredients depending whether they do have an effect or simply smell nice. I did, however, also include them into the “Unfavorable” ingredients list, to warn people with sensitive skin. They can be powerful irritants!
Nothing beats a week or two away from the office, better yet away from home. Or, at best, out of the country, at the sea side, enjoying sand, sun and surf.
Have I told you that I did surf, many years ago, on the Australian shore? Not riding big waves surf though, more desperately trying to stay above the water surf, but still. I felt like a real surfer chick back then, sun burnt nose and salty hair included.
If I happened to have a sun burnt nose or salty hair these days, it is from trying to prevent my kids from drowning themselves in the Mediterranean Sea. Or from (im)patiently waiting for them to collect every single rock there is on the beach.
The effects, however, are the same. Whenever I return from a holiday, I feel my best and look my worst. My hair is brittle, my feet are cracked and my skin is parched. So to undo the summer sins of too much sun and wind and sea, I have a little pamper routine.
I never publicly declared I was on a spending ban. Oh wait, that isn´t entirely true.
I did in the first year of blogging, when I had gone on maternity leave and that, albeit paid for, was way less than the income I had beforehand. See, before that we lived the life of Double-Income-No-Kids and the amount of money I was able to spend on makeup and skincare was immense.
After approximately a year of not buying much stuff, I realized that my stash was still overflowing. And that I had skincare in my drawers that I had purchased more than a year ago and not even thought about opening. I decided to keep up my “spending ban” a little longer, despite being back to work and having more disposable money.
Fast forward two years and another kid, I still have unopened skincare. And I now have an Excel spreadsheet helping me to keep track of all my supplies. I do divide my skincare in different steps, as you have seen in my routines (morning and evening), and now I know exactly how many I have waiting in line for each and every need. (Not enough serums and way too many AHA products and face oils, if you are curious).
Have you ever met someone, got along really well and then, all of a sudden, they opened their mouth and said just one sentence that ruined everything?
I guess we all had that on a date, but it does happen absolutely everywhere.
To me it happened recently when reading a review. A review on the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam. The blog was a nice one, clean layout, structured approach, focus on the ingredients, and the more I read, the more I thought: Could that be one of my new blogging bffs? One to chat skincare on Twitter all night? Discuss ingredients? Recommend serums?
But then, last paragraph. The sentence that ruined everything: „Perfect for using in the shower – just apply and rinse with hot water.“
No flannel? In the shower? Hot Water? We would never get along! But maybe I got along with the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam? Read more
I like to think that I eat fairly healthy. Yes, I do have a sweet tooth and while having fruits is not an issue, I have to pay attention to not skip my leafy greens too often.
Replacing your carbs for greens isn´t a new trend, and I think everyone has at least tried things like Zoodles once. Admittedly they aren´t as bad as I thought they would be, just add a lot of pasta sauce and heaps of parmesan and you are good to go, but I don´t think I would go any further.
Like: Zoats. Finely grated zucchini in your morning oats.
Just take a moment to let that sink in.
See, if I have oats for breakfast, I already pat myself on the back for not having a pain au chocolat. There is no way I can stomach grating zucchini in the morning oats and topping it with some chia seeds and half an apple.
But you have to get your vitamins in, which is why I reach for my pixi Vitamin Wakeup Mist (*PR-Sample) every morning.
While I can easily make do with one bikini, one beach cover up and two pairs of shorts to see me through a three week holiday, I used to pack everything and the kitchen sink when it came to skincare.
You see, you never know when a special firming and brightening face mask will come in handy. And which serum your skin will crave exactly on day five.
And of course someone multi masking regularly needs at least four, better five different face mask options. A week.
Which never really was a problem, until I had kids. Suddenly the space in my suitcase dedicated to fancy glass jars and dropper bottles was taken over by diapers and stuffed animals and I had to start streamlining my skincare.