Boots

Beauty Favourites 2015: Face

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During the summer I loved my Honeypie Minerals Foundation, which I purchased the full size of. In the colder months or for a night out I prefer my Rituals Gemstone Foundation. For liquid foundations I’ve been using Boots Botanics – All Bright Radiance Balm as a base for a couple of months now, it gives a nice glow to the skin.

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To set my makeup I almost exclusively used MUA’s Pro Base Prime & Conceal Powder, which I actually bought for a Halloween look if I remember correctly. It does a great job though. I mix all the colours and apply it lightly and my makeup stays matte for a while.

A purchase on a whim turned out to be my favourite everyday blush: MUA’s Lolly. A long time favourite of mine, and unfortunately not available anymore, is Catrice’s Multi Colour Blush in Gone With the Wind [Hollywood Fabolous Fourties Limited Edition]. Last year I mentioned my Everyday Minerals’ blushes and they are still products I use on a regular basis.

I think in the last two years, a lot more products have found their way into my makeup routine. Not necessarily on a daily basis, but certainly when I feel like putting on a full face of makeup. When I never seemed to bother with Contouring and Highlighting in the past, I know have a couple of favourites for both categories.

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I would say Beauty UK’s Baked Box Halo 3 is my No. 1 highlighter. I also really enjoy Topshop’s Glow Highlighter in Polish and Illamasqua’s Gleam in Mirage. For highlighters cream products work quite well for me. Not so much for contouring though. I have Illamasqua’s Cream Pigment in Hollow, but although the colour is great I just never really reach for it. Instead my current favourite is Makeup Revolution’s Mono Eyeshadow in Mocha Love, which I use as a contour shade. It is very pigmented and suitable for pale skin.

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Skincare Favourites 2015

Like last year I’ve been testing a lot of new skincare brands and products. In this post I will highlight some old favourites and new found loves.

For ages now I have been using Lush’s 9 To 5 Cleansing Lotion to remove my makeup and I can still say that I love it. I’ve recently bought an Alverde product for a change, but I already know that once it is used up, I will go back to my long time staple 9 to 5. I am also still using my Purechimp – Body Cream for dry areas on my body, like my chins or feet. By the way, they’ve recently also added a shampoo bar to their line.

I found an amazing day cream this year, namely the Radiance Day Cream by Urban Veda. I first got a sample, which made me buy the full size. I love everything about it, the scent, the consistency, the way it moisturises my skin without making it greasy… I could go on, but instead I highly recommend you to try one of their products yourself.

A brand that I’ve known for a long time but only discovered for myself this year is Benecos. Two of my favourite products I’ve tried from them are the Natural Melissa Shower Gel and their Apricot & Elderflower Natural Hand Cream. I like their affordable prices and good ingredients. Further, I am very picky when it comes to scented products, but everything by Benecos so far worked really well for me.

Another great bargain this year comes from Boots and is their Boots Botanics – All Bright Hand Cream. The Boots Botanics line has some gems along them, the hand cream being one of them. I am currently also using their Rosewater Toning Spritz, which is a great product, yet I preferred Lush’s Eau Roma Water for my skin type.

If you are looking for a drugstore body lotion I can recommend the Original Source – Skin Quench Body Lotion: Peach & Apricot Oil which is not too expensive and a great moisturiser. If I don’t get the chance to order a lotion online in advance, this skin quench is my go-to. If I do order, Sante’s Bodylotion Goji Power is also a very affordable option and a product I will happily buy again.

2015 is also the year when I discovered deodorant creams for myself. I’ve heard so much about them that I wanted to see what all the hype is about. I bought Schmidt’s Deodorant in Cedarwood + Juniper, which I really enjoyed. Just recently I purchased a sample of the Natural Deo Company ‘s Clean Deodorant Balm and it works great. There are some more alternatives to be tried in 2016 and I am looking forward to it.

I’ve recently re-purchased an old favourite of mine by Alverde: their Cellulite Serum Gel. It states ‘new’ on the packaging, but I used to buy this years ago and was gutted when they didn’t stock it anymore. In the meantime they had a body oil for the same purpose, but I never liked it. The gel smells amazing and I just love the consistency, slightly sticky after being applied, very moisturising and cooling on the skin. Now, it is up to you if you believe anti-cellulite products actually work, but I simply enjoy using this gel, no matter what.

Overall, a good year for my skincare routine. I’ve found some great products that will stay in my routine and that I can switch in between, depending on my mood and needs.

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Body lotion

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Deodorant

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Hand cream

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Misc

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Shower gel

IN and OUT – Hand cream #03

botanics boots hand cream

OUT: Boots Botanics – All Bright Hand Cream (£1.93/75ml)

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4stars

What Boots says:

This fast absorbing hand cream instantly hydrates dry skin. Moisturising for 48 hours, the light non-greasy formula absorbs quickly to reveal noticeably softer skin.

Active plant extract, Hibiscus contains natural AHAs which mildly exfoliate to help leave skin smoother and brighter.

Our beauty scientists have worked with the world experts in plants science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (England), to bring you beautiful plant powered skin care that’s proven to work.

Because this product contains alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) which may increase your skins sensitivity to the sun, we recommend using a sun protection and limit sun exposure during and for a week after use of this product.

What I say:

I believe this product is cruelty-free. I am not sure if the whole range is, as some of the products did not include the statement ‘people tested’ on their packaging. I found the following statement online:

Boots Botanics does not use parabens, mineral oils, and have replaced man- made chemicals with natural ingredients as much as possible. This brand is also cruelty free. (Hello Dollface, 2013)

The cream sinks in really quickly and has a lovely smell to it, which reminds me of my beloved Urban Veda Radiance Day Cream. I definitely liked this hand cream and would re-purchase it again. I think it suits very well into the summer time when you want something more lightweight. For the winter month I will look for something thicker and extremely moisturising as I get really dry skin.

Other reviews:

Ingredients [Codecheck]:

Aqua, Glycerin, Cetearyl alcohol, Dimethicone, Cetearyl glucoside, Olea europaea fruit oil, Hibiscus sabdariffa flower extract, Butyrospermum parkii butter, Prunus amygdalus dulcis oil, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Potassium cetyl phosphate, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Caprylyl glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Dipropylene glycol, Potassium hydroxide, Tocopheryl acetate, Sodium hyaluronate, Ascorbyl glucoside, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid

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IN: Benecos – Apricot & Elderflower Natural Hand Cream (£1.49/75ml)

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What Benecos says:

The fast absorbing formulations contained in the benecos Natural HAND CREAMS care for the hands, making them soft to the touch. The hand creams are vegan, BDIH certified and contain the benecos organic blend of seven selected plant extracts from organic farming. With natural Alpine spring water.

The natural care of the benecos Apricot & Elderflower Hand Cream, with selected ingredients such as apricot kernel oil and elderflower extract, makes your hands silky smooth. The formulation also contains valuable dandelion extract and sunflower oil for a smooth and supple skin feeling.

What I say:

I love, love, love the smell of this cream! 🙂 It is a bit more nourishing than the Botanics one, which is great for the colder month of the year. So far, I have no complaints and really enjoy using the hand cream.

Ingredients [Codecheck]:

Aqua, Helianthus Annuus Hybrid Oil*, Pyrus Malus Juice*, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Taraxacum Officinale Root Extract , Glycerin, Sodium Benzoate°, Parfum**, Potassium Sorbate°, Citric Acid, Glycerin*, Arctium Lappa Fruit Extract*, Tilia Cordata Flower Extract*, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract*, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract*, Hypericum Perforatum Flower Extract*, Urtica Dioica Root Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Sodium Citrate, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil*, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract*, Tocopherol, Sunflower Seed Oil Sorbitol Esters, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil*, Limonene**

° preserved with
* certified organic
** natural fragrance

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IN and OUT: Toner #04

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Lush – Eau Roma Water [£7.95/250g]

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5stars

What Lush says:

This is an elegant formula that’s suitable for even the most sensitive skins. Rose water will help to calm and reduce redness, whilst lavender water will balance and soften the skin. This was created as a way to hydrate and soothe the skin both gently and effectively. Use it for a quick, refreshing spritz or to remove any traces of makeup or cleanser.

What I say:

I know that some people avoid Methylparaben in their products, but from my research it should be a safe ingredient, at least according is what I found out over at Paula’s Choice. Lush says on their website that “Methylparaben is used to control the growth of bacteria, yeasts and moulds. We use less than half the maximum permitted level to ensure the product is as mild as possible and the skin’s natural microflora is not affected. This low level of use also helps with the bio-degradability of our product and any waste material created during manufacture.”

I used to have a similar spray from The Body Shop called the Vitamin E Face Mist, which I used to like a lot, so I am curious to see if the Eau Roma can convince me just as much and is less drying for my skin than my Urban Veda Toner.

I absolutely loved this toner and it is definitely a product I will buy again. The only reason I didn’t get it just now was my curiosity to try the Boots Botanic one.

Ingredients [Codecheck]: Lavender, Water, Rose Water, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Methylparaben

Other reviews:

IN: Boots Botanics – Rosewater Toning Spritz (£5.99/150ml)

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What Boots says:

Enliven your senses and refresh your skin with this revitalising organic Rosewater Toner.

Spritz generously after cleansing to visibly tighten pores and remove the last traces of make-up.

Skin feels smoother, fresher and prepared for moisturising.

Beautifully fragrant Rosewater from the highly-prized Damask Rose has been used for centuries to delicately cleanse and tone skin.

Our beauty scientists use active plant extracts approved by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to bring you beautiful skincare that’s proven to work.

We’ve taken steps to reduce our impact on the planet at every stage in this product’s journey.

  • Formulated without parabens.
  • People tested.
  • This bottle is made using a minimum of 25% recycled content.
  • Please recycle where possible.

What I say:

I like the scent of rose, which is the main reason I bought it. So far I can say that it is refreshing and hydrating when I use it on my face.

Ingredients [Codecheck]:

Aqua (Water), Alcohol denat.*, Glycerin*, Rosa damascena flower oil*, Citronellol*

* Ingredients certified as organic by the Soil Association for use in cosmetic products

Other reviews:

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Some thoughts on… Cruelty-free Cosmetics III – Makeup

Last time we looked at products for body- and haircare but now it’s time to dive into the world of makeup. If you are just about to switch to cruelty-free and vegan products, you will get to know a wide range of amazing new brands and products to try out. I will list some of my favourite ones below, along with some of my Pinterest boards where I collect brands that are interesting and worth checking out.

Makeup

In German drugstores you can find Alverde, Alterra and Terra Naturi, all three of them are drugstore’s own brand available for very little money. More and more wholefood stores in Germany also carry Sante Cosmetics, Lavera and Benecos, all three of them being natural products as well. In the UK you can have a look at B. Makeup by Superdrug or Natural Collection by Boots. If you prefer to buy brands from the drugstore instead of online, also keep your eyes out for Sleek Makeup and Gosh Cosmetics, both of them are cruelty-free and have some great products available.

In terms of makeup I highly recommend checking out mineral makeup brands, who are more often than not cruelty-free if not even vegan. You can find a whole series of brands I looked into on the blog. My personal favourites are BM BeautyHoneypie Minerals for foundation, Concrete Minerals for eyeshadow and Everyday Minerals for blush.

Illamasqua, Sugerpill and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) will deliver when you are craving colourful products with great quality. I’ve never tried Lunatick Cosmetic Labs myself yet, but I am very tempted. They offer cruelty-free, vegan and talcfree products with amazing horror, goth kinda design.

As you can see there are plenty of options and it depends on what you are looking for really. Have a look at my Pinterest board below to find some more inspiration.

Makeup Brushes

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If it comes to cruelty free makeup brushes you will find a large selection available. Personally I am a fan of ECO tools, Cala and Real Techniques brushes, but there are plenty more brands offering synthetic bristles. You will find that a lot of mineral makeup brands also offer their own brush range. Some brands to look out for are as well are Bdellium who has a range of vegan bamboo brushes, Zoeva who has a vegan collection, Alimapure, Everyday Minerals and Neve Cosmetics. I should probably try and make a review of the brushes that I own soon, to give you a better idea of their quality. 🙂

Nailpolish

nail-polish

I love nailpolish! This has been one of the most difficult topics for me to research, because not only did I want to find cruelty-free products, and believe me there are plenty, but also as chemical-free as possible. In the end, I recently decided that from now on I want to focus on buying nail polish by Zoya, because I believe that they are probably the best choice out there at the moment when it comes to being cruelty-free and as chemical-free as possible while offering a great colour range and innovative finishes. My favourite nail polish remover at the moment is by Fresh Therapies. Check out my blog series on less-toxic nail polish for more information.

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