vrijdag 31 mei 2013

Exfoliation: Manual vs. Chemical

If you’re like me and you like a bit of self-pampering, you’re probably used to exfoliating your skin once or twice a week. Some people do it before applying a mask, some people do it randomly, and most people use abrasive scrubs. In the past couple of years however, there has been quite a fuss about chemical exfoliation. I thought I’d write a post about the difference between using a manual exfoliator and a chemical one, just to make kind of an ‘overview’…

Let’s start with the basics: what is exfoliation and why is it so important? Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells. Our skin exists out of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous layer. The epidermis however, als consist out of five tiny layers. The bottom layer of the epidermis, the stratum basale, gets oxygen and ‘food’ from the dermis, which means the cells that live in there are alive. The more you go up, the more cells die, which means that the top layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum, consists out of cornified and dead skin cells. These cells need to be removed in order to stimulate the underlying skin layers to create new skin cells more rapidly. This means brighter, smoother and clearer skin, but it also allows products applied after the exfoliation to penetrate more deeply thus becoming more effective.

There are two ways to exfoliate: manual and chemical. Manual exfoliation is the most common, simply because it has been around for so long and people are used to using abrasive scrubs. When manually exfoliation, a product containing a grainy substance is used to remove the dead skin cells. The cells get literally ‘polished off’ the skin, revealing softer and brighter looking skin afterwards. The grains used in these products can be natural of plastic and can sometimes feel scratching or irritating.

Chemical exfoliation is a little bit more complicated though. Chemical exfoliants can exist in the form of toners, serums or moisturisers and use mostly enzymes or alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). These chemical exfoliants can penetrate the skin deeper than manual ones; how depper it penetrates the skin and thus affects more layers of the skin, the more rapid the cell renewal takes place. There are very strong chemical exfoliants, which can only be used around once a week, but there are also less strong exfoliants which can be used everyday or even twice a day.

So here’s the overview: manual exfoliants only remove the top layer of the skin, whilst chemical exfoliants penetrate the skin deeper. I wouldn’t recommend using a manual exfoliant when you suffer from active acne, as it can spread the bacteria and cause even more acne. In this case, chemical exfoliants are way more effective and can even help clear up the acne. With chemical exfoliants, the skin cells get dissolved and you don’t have to scratch and irritate the skin. After all, it’s up to you what you prefer and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. One last thing: it doesn’t matter what form of exfoliation you use, but you do really need to wear sunscreen the day after you exfoliate!

So after typing the words ‘exfoliation’, ‘manual’ and ‘chemical’ 245353 times, I think it might be time to end this blog post. I hope this clears things up for those who can get a bit confused about this, and even though it’s very, very basic, I hope this may have helped. It was really difficult for me to write this in English too, so bare with me! What’s your favourite method of exfoliation?

dinsdag 28 mei 2013

Bronzed Eyes, Pink Lips

Even though I do like to keep my makeup as simple as possible (I’m currently typing this bare-faced) I love to play with it and make myself look like a little barbie doll as well. If I’m feeling like making an effort, I love to give my eyes some subtle definition and let my lips stand out. So here’s the lowdown of the products I love using to create this summery look…

Let’s start with what’s probably my favourite product of the bunch: the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and on Bronze. This is a creamy eyeshadow (the only one I own- I know, shame on me!), which can be used as a base to prevent your eyeshadow from creasing or just on its own to give your eyes that bronzey, defined look. The colour is absolutely gorgeous; a bronzey taupe with a hint of shimmer. I usually apply this using my ring finger. The formula is is almost gel-like, and it blends really nicely. I’m definitely planning on buying another one of these soon- I’m looking at the taupe and gold colours…
Next, I want to define my eyes a little bit more, and for this I use the Naked Basics palette. I am absolutely in love with this palette since it’s perfect for eyeshadow n00bs like me- the shades are really ‘basic’ and so easy to work with. I use a little bit of Naked 2 on the center of my eyelid, then use my MAC 214 brush to blend a little bit of Faint in my crease. Urban Decay eyeshadows are of outstanding quality and last all day on my oily eyelids, even when I’m not wearing an eye primer! They do have quite a bit of fall out though, so make sure to tap off the excess on your brush to prevent having eyeshadow particles all over your face.
To bronze up my face a little bit, I use my trusty ol’ Bourjoius DĂ©lice de Poudre Bronzing Powder in 51. The smell of this is just absolutely delicious, which is why I love this product so much. I blend this in with my MAC 187 to create a lovely, glowy, sunkissed look on and sculpt my non-existing cheekbones.
For lips, I use MAC’ Speed Dial, which is actually my first MAC lipstick ever! Speed Dial is just the nicest everyday pinky shade. It’s a cremesheen finish, which means it goes on really smoothly whilst still lasting quite a long time on the lips. It smells like cookies and creates Barbie-esque lips, but not over the top. It’s the perfect everyday pink lipstick!

So now I’ve bronzed up my eyes and cheeks and started wearing pinks on my lips, I think it’s time for the sun to make an appearance and come out and play. Do you like the combination of bronzed eyes and pink lips?

maandag 27 mei 2013

Nuxe Ecran Prodigieux High-Protection Screen SPF 30

I’m one of those girls who is terrified of aging by sun damage, which is why I always make sure to use an SPF underneath my makeup on sunny days where I know I’m going to be out a lot. I’m a really pale girl, but I don’t get sunburned that easily; I just tan straight away, which I like. I’m not really a fan of laying in the sun all day, but I do like to catch a little bit of sun on my limbs, just for an extra dose of vitamin D. I do, however, always make sure to apply sunscreen on my face. I don’t really mind if my face is a little bit paler than my body, because I do wear makeup most days anyway. When I went on holiday last year, I used an SPF50 every single day, but on the last day I decided to let my face breathe a little, and I also wanted it to have a bit of colour. Result: burned forehead and nose. Don’t make the same mistake as I did, kids.

I’ve been using the Nuxe Ecran Prodiqieux sunscreen for a couple of months now, and I really like it. Nuxe is one of my favourite brands, so this product really didn’t disappoint. Nuxe claim that it’s a ‘high protection screen SPF30, 365-day use, ultra fluid care for all skin types, even sensitive skin’. It protects from both UVA and UVB rays, whilst also protecting against pollution.
I don’t use an SPF when I know I’m just going to sit inside all day, so the 365-day use isn’t really applicable to me. The sunscreen feels really lightweight and comes out as a watery substance, which is quite unique, since I find most sunscreen really thick and hard to blend into the skin. Since it’s so watery, you do need to shake it a little before you put some product on your hands and it’s likely you’ll use too much of it- which is good, in this case. You can never overdo the sunscreen!
Even though it claims to suit even sensitive skin, I do find that it has quite a strong smell. I looked up the ingredients and it does have perfume in it, so it might not be suitable for very sensitive skins.
I apply this over my usual daytime moisturiser and work i tinto the skin using my fingertips. It melts into the skin really easily, and the lightweight formula means it feel snot too heavy on my skin, which can be oily sometimes. I never ever got a single burn whilst wearing this sunscreen, so it does provide decent enough protection, although I do suggest looking into a higher SPF if you’ve got really, really pale skin and burn easily. It does make me look a little bit shiny though, and even though I like my face to look dewy and fresh, this might not be for you if you prefer a more matte look.

Overall I really like this sunscreen, but I’m not sure if I would repurchase. This is purely because I’m a beauty junkie and am obsessed with trying out new products and finding the one ‘holy grail’. Do you have any sunscreen recommendations?


zaterdag 25 mei 2013

The Bright Eyes Duo

I think we have all got up after a short nights sleep, looked into the mirror and thought ‘what the heck’. Dark circles, puffy eyes and that feeling you can’t even keep your peepers open; we’ve all been there. After being sick and tired- pun intended- of my eyes looking like I had no sleep at all, I started to look more into eyecreams and serums, and I have found a combination that transforms my eyes from puffy and shleepy to bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Now these are both Clinique products, and I have to say I’m really loving Clinique at the moment. Let’s start with the product I use first: the All About Eyes Serum. I use this top rep my eyes for any eye product I use. The All About Eyes Serum has a nice metal rollerball, which feels so refreshing on your eyes and the cold metal really wakes you up, which makes it a pleasure to use in the mornings. This is a really lightweight serum, which sinks into the skin rather quickly. It says it’s a de-puffing eye massage which instantly cools and massages away puffiness. I use the rollerball to gently massage the product into my skin, and then pat the excess with my ring finger so it absorbs even quicker. I roll it from my inner eye corner to the outer corner, and it just feels so refreshing and my sore eyes do instantly feel better. If you suffer from really dry eyes, this on its own won’t be enough and I think you do need an extra eye cream, but I do just use it on its own at night. This is a really non-bullshit product; it does what it says, doesn’t have a fragrance and doesn’t feel sticky at all, which I hate so much about really rich eye creams. If you couldn’t already tell, I just love love love this, and if I really can’t keep my eyes open I store this in the fridge for a few minutes, which makes it even more effective.

Next up, I use the Clinique Even Better Eyes dark circle corrector. It says that it ‘creates a brighter, more even-toned look for eyes’. This is basically like a tinted moisturiser for your eyes; it has both skincare benefits and a nice peachy tint, which won’t really hide your dark circles but creates a perfect canvas for concealer application and just corrects the dark shadows under your eyes. I have used this every morning since October, and it stall has got a decent amount left in it so it’s absolutely worth the money! This does also have a really nice metal applicator which makes it an absolute joy to apply. Be careful though- it’s really easy to apply too much of the product, and you only need a tiny bit! I then pat this in with –again- my ringfinger, and even though I don’t really suffer from dark circles (thank god!), it makes my eyes appear so much brighter and awake.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your bright eyes essentials?

donderdag 23 mei 2013

The Everyday Face

...and a debut of my fringe on the blog. Please be nice.
I don’t know about you, but I can get quite lazy with my makeup somedays. I’m really meticulous with my skincare and nailcare routines, but when it comes to makeup I just can’t be bothered to use a lot of products and spend a lot of time on it- bad beauty blogger alert, I know. Over the years, I have created an everyday makeup look that is easy and quick to achieve and looks very, very natural. Only five or six products are used, and not a single eyeshadow in sight…

My base is, as I have said numerous times before, the most important thing in my routine. I spend so much time buffing and patting on my base, just because I feel that when I’ve got my base down, I don’t need much else makeup. I prefer using BB creams, tinted moisturisers or really lightweight foundations, mainly because I hate how medium to heavy coverage foundations feel on my skin (except for Revlon Colourstay) and I just like the thought of them doing something good form y skin, even though it’s probably just marketing. I really like mixing my bases, and the main foundation I like for mixing is YSL’s Le Teint Touche Eclat. This is such a light and glowy foundation, which doesn’t have much lasting power on me on its own, but mixed with another base it can create such a flawless and polished look. Today, I mixed it with my favourite BB cream ever (oh yes, I’ve said it); the Erborian BB Cream. This does everything it says on the tube and so much more, and I absolutely adore how my skin looks after applying this, so you can only imagine what these two do together- glowy, perfected skin goodness. This is some real makeup magic right here.
Then for brows, a quick brush and fill in with the Catrice Eye Brow Stylist in 020- Date With Ash-ton does the trick. This tames my brows and fills in my light eyebrows perfectly; it’s not too dark, not too light and creates the illusion of  thick and natural eyebrows.
I used Sephora’s blush in Romantic Rose on my cheek bones with my trusty MAC 187 brush to dust in on lightly and define my cheeks a little bit more. I do absolutely adore this. It’s the perfect pinky colour for me, and it just looks really nice on my skintone.
On my eyelashes, I apply two to three layers of the Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume mascara, to make my eyes stand out a little bit more. Since I don’t wear eyeshadow on a daily basis (and am extremely bad with applying it), I tend to go a little bit OTT with the mascara. I just like long, big, intense black and fluttering eyelashes, and this mascara gives me all of that. (sorry for the grubby looking tube btw!).
There’s only really one product I tend to wear on my lips at the moment, and it are the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. I own two shades, 01 and 02, which are respectively a rosey and a peachy colour. I almost used up 01 after buying it almost a year ago, and I recently got 02, the perfect peachy colour. These are just the perfect lipglosses: non-sticky, with the perfect amount of colour and great to apply when you’re on the go, since you don’t need a mirror for it. I can’t sing its praises enough.

So these are my go-to everyday products. I absolutely adore every single one of these, and I really do think that they fit my very specific makeup needs. What are your everyday makeup products? Any recommendations?