Sunday, 17 June 2018

Clarins FEED Necessaire 2018

Buying lovely skincare and supporting a good cause at the same time? Sounds like a great combination to me. The eighth year in a row, Clarins launched products for their FEED project. This year, it's a cute "necessaire" or beauty bag with some of their essential products in mini-size. 

What is FEED? It's a project founded by Lauren Bush Lauren which aims to provide meals for malnourished children in schools all over the world. But why distribute the meals at school? It has a great overall effect: Besides reducing hunger, it leads to more attendance in school and therefore to a better education, which is a chance to leave poverty behind. FEED is able to donate those meals because they sell products, mainly bags, and invest the profits to bring meals to the children. There's more information about the project on their website. Since 2011, Clarins cooperates with FEED and supports their cause. 

You can support this project by buying one of the Clarins FEED necessaires for CHF 49.90. With the purchase of one necessaire, you're donating ten meals. It's a win-win, because you will get seven lovely products:

  • 30ml Eye Make-Up Remover
  • 30ml Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
  • 15ml SOS Comfort Cream
  • 15ml Hydra-Essential Cream
  • Honey Lip Oil
  • 100ml Moisture-Rich Body Lotion
  • 50ml Eau Dynamisante

I personally really like the SOS Comfort cream. It has a really balmy texture and makes my skin feel super smooth. The lip oils smell amazing and are good for a bit of hydration during the day. They look glossy and chic on the lips, too. I haven't tried the other products yet but I will, as soon as I purchased my own necessaire. 

This blogpost is not sponsored. Clarins sent me the press information on this project and I think it's a great one to support, that's why I'm writing about it on the blog. 

Have a lovely day!
xx Cheryl

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Louis Widmer All Day SPF 50+

I'm going on holiday! Hooray! I'm traveling to Florida for a week to write on my masters thesis. I wish I was kidding but I'm not really. Obviously, I didn't book a ten hour flight just to sit in a hotel and write, I will definitely enjoy the beach if the weather allows it and maybe pick up some beauty bits. I won't go into detail what I'm bringing with me as I did that in previous blogposts but I'd like to introduce you to a sun screen I particularly enjoyed while I was in Thailand and I'd gladly use it again on this trip. Louis Widmer kindly sent their SPF 50+ All Day liposomal sun milk* to me to put to the test. 

The sun milk is suitable for every skin type, even if your skin is very sensitive. With the SPF 50+ it provides very high sun protection which is water-resistant and lasts all day. I apply it on every exposed part of my skin (except for my face where I use other products) right after I get dressed. I'm not one to lie in the sun because my skin is prone to sunburn and this sun milk does a great job at protecting my skin. I reapplied it when I went for a swim in the sea but other than that, I just applied it in the morning and I was good to go for the day. 

The texture is very rich, it takes some effort to distribute on the skin but it sinks in quickly and it doesn't feel very greasy, the skin feels like after applying foundation. You know something's there which is kind of creamy, kind of powdery but it's no bother. And it does such a good job at moisturizing too! 

The All Day sun milk smells like a normal sun cream but with a hint of lemon, which makes the scent fresher. You need quite a lot of the product to apply it onto your whole body. I went through a whole 100ml bottle in about four days. Anyhow, my skin was very happy with this sun milk: smooth and soft and not irritated at all after being in the sun. I just read in the press information that the product contains Vitamin E to protect the skin from free radicals, boost regeneration and even out the skin tone. It also contains panthenol and L-Arginine to keep hydration and soothe irritated skin. So that's where the positive effects are coming from. 

I loved to use Louis Widmer's All Day SPF 50+ and I will repurchase it, even though it isn't cheap at CHF 33 for 100ml but we're talking about sun protection here. Good sun protection is key if you want to keep your skin looking young and healthy, investing in good quality  definitely isn't a waste of money. 

What's your favourite sun cream?

Have a lovely day!
xx Cheryl

*PR sample, all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Introducing Whamisa - Natural Sheet Masks

A couple of weeks ago I got my first ever delivery of Whamisa* products. Four different sheet masks, courtesy of, a Swiss online shop which imports Korean cosmetics. 

Whamisa is a Korean skincare brand which does research on how to include and preserve natural ingredients in their products. One of their processes to do so is natural fermentation. The products are organic and 100% natural, contain no parabens, silicones or mineral oils and they aren't tested on animals. Sounds good so far? 

I've tested three of their Hydrogel Masks and their Organic Real Kelp Sheet Mask. Something I noticed instantly, besides the cute design of the packaging, is that these sheet masks fit better than any other sheet mask I've tried before. Why is that? My face is quite small and these masks come in two parts which aren't too wide so they're the right size for my face. Yay! 

The first mask I've put on was the Organic Real Kelp Sheet Mask with the real kelp sheet. Be warned, it smells real, too! I didn't know what kelp is (bear in mind, English isn't my mother tongue) but I thought it's funny how this mask looks like algae and smells like algae. Well, after taking a look in the dictionary, I obviously knew why... The real kelp sheet mask contains 32 natural ingredients to make your skin look healthy and youthful. It claims to reduce wrinkles, puffiness and to minimise pores while brightening and improving your complexion. Anything else we could ask for? Oh well, and it hydrates the skin. 

Even though kelp doesn't sound like the most appealing scent to me, it actually smells very relaxing because it's mixed with white tea and I looove tea! When I used the sheet mask, all my skin needed at that moment was a bit of hydration. At first, the mask felt soothing on the skin, then I noticed a cooling effect and a tingly feeling. My skin got the hydration I asked for and a relaxing experience during the 15 minutes I've had the mask on my face, due to its scent. The residue of the mask is bright yellow so I kind of feared it would leave yellow marks on my skin if I don't remove it but that didn't happen, all good. Make sure to store the mask in the shade or even the fridge, heat may damage the ingredients. 

The Hydrogel Masks come in two pieces and look like some sort of solid gel. You can easily see your normal skin underneath, which makes me look pretty creepy so I'm not going to show you a picture of me wearing one of them. However, this must be the most comfortable mask to wear because its texture makes the mask sit on your face like a second skin. 

The Organic Fruits Hydrogel Mask contains a whole fruit salad on the picture below and some tomatoes, all fermented. It's a lifting, revitalizing and toning mask with a fresh herbal scent. This is dedicated to  balance sebum and tightening the pores. Once applied, you can hardly feel anything but after a while there's the same cooling effect as with the Facial Mask Pack and this is a sensation all the masks have in common. The residue is slightly sticky but easy to massage into the skin. After using this hydrogel mask, I was able to notice a slight difference: my pores were less visible, I guess that's a win! 

The second mask with naturally fermented ingredients was the Organic Flowers Hydrogel Mask. Again, this has a relaxing, herbal but kind of sweet flowery scent. It contains lotus flower extracts, dandelion root, chrysanthemum and green tea. This mask has a whitening effect so please make sure to protect your skin from the sun after using it. If your skin needs a bit of extra moisture, this is the one I'd go for. It takes a bit of attention to apply the mask, there's a lot of liquid in the packaging and the mask is a bit hard to grab because it's slimy. But you know, the moisture has to come from somewhere... 

The last mask I've tried was the one I didn't have high expectations on as my skin is still young and its main effect is to reduce wrinkles and lift the skin. However, this little product blew my mind! The fermented Organic Seeds and Rice Hydrogel Mask contains rice and oats. Doesn't sound too special. Nevertheless, the effect was instantly visible even on non-wrinkly skin. After a 20-minute application, I looked like someone took great care at making my skin look its absolute best, relaxed, plump, even and smooth. I've tested a lot of face mask during the last years and I've hardly ever been wowed like this by a product before. From now on, this is going to be my secret (or now not so secret anymore) weapon for when I didn't have enough sleep and need to trick people into thinking I'm perfectly fit. 

So what's the bottom line of my first experience with Whamisa? I enjoyed every single one of the four masks as they're easy to apply, comfortable and they all have a positive effect on my skin.  The one thing I'm not particularly happy about but which is common with all sheet masks is the amount of waste they produce. There's the sheet for once but also the plastic packaging. Even though I like the idea of sheet masks, because they're usually less messy to apply than a common face mask, I much prefer to buy the normal ones' due to the waste issue. 

The sheet masks are all packed individually. One Facial Mask Pack costs CHF 16, the Hydrogel Masks are CHF 12 each. I'd really recommend trying the Organic Seeds one, it was nominated for annabelle prix de beauté 2017 and considering the great effect, it's a real bargain. I'm intrigued to try other products from Whamisa. Do you have any recommendations? 

Have a great day!
xx Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 13 May 2018

A Fragrance Wardrobe with Atelier Cologne

Whatever the occasion, we always try to find a suitable outfit to wear. We wouldn't wear a ballgown to the office or a summer outfit in winter but often, we do exactly that when it comes to choosing scents. That's why Atelier Cologne has the principle of a "Fragrance Wardrobe", which is easy to understand because it works just like your normal wardrobe. What's the occasion? What do you feel like? Then go to your fragrance wardrobe and choose your scent. I've been doing this for quite a while myself, I have perfumes which I only wear when I'm going out and I have my everyday perfume choices for every season. However, this developed over time and I didn't buy the scents with the intention of wearing them for a particular occasion or mood, it just kind of happened. Atelier Cologne on the other hand creates moments with their colognes. This means, the founders think of a moment and they try to recreate that in form of a cologne. According to one of the founders, Christophe Cervasel, they're both perfectionists and only bring the cologne to the market once they both agree they captured the moment. For example, there's La Rose Anonyme, which tells us the story of a woman who steals diamonds. You can read the story of each cologne on Atelier Cologne's website.  

The story of Atelier Cologne is pretty juicy, so I'd like to share the quick version with you: The founders and perfumers Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter met in New York in 2006. They discovered their shared passion for Eau de Cologne and quickly fell in love. If I remember correctly, they were married at that point but decided to marry each other anyway, in order to work as a team on their dream to create a long-lasting, elegant Cologne of character. In 2009 they succeeded with founding Atelier Cologne, a fragrance house dedicated to cologne, and their Cologne Absolue, which counts as Pure Perfume due to containing 15% of essential oils. Hence, they're highly concentrated and made of the best natural raw material which the secret ingredient, a dose of love. 

Atelier Cologne* is available in Switzerland since about half a year and I recently got the chance to meet Christophe Cervasel at a PR event at Jelmoli. The main question I had to ask Christophe was to explain the difference between cologne, eau de toilette and perfume. Turned out I wasn't the only one with that question so it was addressed pretty quickly and there's more than one explanation. The correct one and the common one. At least that's what Christophe told us with a wide smile on his face. The common explanation is that a cologne contains 5% essential oils in the formula, whereas an eau de toilette contains 10%, eau de perfume 15% and a perfume over 15% of essential oils. The real definition of a cologne is that it is a perfume containing citrus from Italy. 

I always liked citrus based scents, especially in the warmer months so it comes as no surprise that I'm absolutely obsessed with the colognes. I highly recommend to pay a visit to Jelmoli or a store in your country which stocks Atelier Cologne. The counters look absolutely divine and the selection of colognes is out of this world. It's colorful, arranged beautifully and the shop assistants are very helpful while you're selecting your fragrance wardrobe. 

I got the chance to choose my two colognes and I spent as much time as possible to select the perfect two. It is not easy, I can tell you. Containing 32 different fragrances, the selection is insane, I wasn't able to test every single one and I liked so many of them but two of them were outstanding to me and I'm extremely happy with my choice. I went for Pomélo Paradis as my daily summer fragrance and Philtre Ceylan to wear on special occasions. Now I have to say that I love Philtre Ceylan so much, I want to wear it as often as possible so I might need to splurge on that 200ml bottle. What makes the Cologne Absolues so special in my opinion is that they smell pure and natural. The scents are strong but not overpowering and you can really tell what you're smelling. For whatever reason, it's the pureness of the scents which got me hooked. Pomélo Paradis has the very fresh scent of pomelo with a hint of sweetness. I don't like very sweet scents, especially in summer but this one is simply perfect for me. I'd say this is a cologne which most people will like. Philtre Ceylan won't be as popular, I guess. As the name suggests, it smells like black tea. I'm a tea lover and I instantly fell in love with Philtre Ceylan with its warm, spicy and mysterious scent. They're long lasting but I like to reapply them during the day because I just enjoy to do so. 

I know, I rave a lot in this blogpost but honestly, I loved the experience with Atelier Cologne and I can't get enough of my two fragrances. Surely, citrus scents aren't for everyone but not every cologne does smell really citrusy. Vanilla was a favourite of a lot of participants at the event, too and you can't tell the citrus in there, if you're worried about that. 

I could keep talking about the brand but I'm sure you noticed that I don't have any complaints about Atelier Cologne. Instead of telling you the story of my two picks I recommend to visit the brand's official website to read some stories or do a quick test to find your fragrance wardrobe. Now it's time to stop raving about the colognes and to tell you that these beauties aren't cheap but in my opinion well worth the money. The 100ml flacon costs CHF 159 and you can also get a beautiful personalized leather cover for the 30ml bottle, the one you can see in the picture above. It comes in 15 colours to choose from. Another difficult choice after testing all the colognes... I will definitely go back there to try some more. 

Do you know Atelier Cologne already? 

Have a great day!
xx Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Bedtime Routine with Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon

Dermalogica released a new night cream with the lovely name Sound Sleep Cocoon*, a product which comes with a little bed time routine and some tipps for better sleep. Sounds intriguing, right? Let me tell you more...

The main goal of this product is to regenerate the skin over night with the great side effect of helping you to a good night's sleep, which is what you need to keep your skin looking young and radiant. While you're sleeping, your skin does its best to regenerate itself. It is also at that time that the skin absorbs ingredients of skincare products particularly well, which is a good reason to choose your night cream carefully. Sound Sleep Cocoon contains essential oils from different, very exotic sounding plants to help you fall asleep easily and it aims to hydrate, balance and revitalize your skin during the night. So what we're expecting in the morning after using this product is healthy and even looking skin.

You may use the night gel-cream on its own or for example in combination with a serum. It's meant to be the last step in your evening skin care routine and I noticed pretty fast that it doesn't provide enough hydration for my skin to use it on its own, so I combined it with a hydrating serum. You could even use a night cream and then apply Sound Sleep Cocoon, if your skin needs more moisture.

The texture is light and gel-like and the cream has the most relaxing herbal scent due to the essential oils, a combination of lavender, patchouli and sandal wood. They're the key ingredients to this product as they help you to wind down, so take your time when you're applying Sound Sleep Cocoon: apply one or two pumps of the cream to your fingertips and lightly massage it into your skin, ideally between 9 and 11 p.m. because that's when melatonin production starts. The essential oils need to be massaged as they're kind of locked up in capsules and need to be released first. Then hold your hands in front of your nose and inhale deeply. This step really can make a difference to the quality of your sleep. I like to repeat this twice or three times. I already have some little things I do every evening to create my personal routine but this little extra step fits in perfectly.

Something important to know is, that it takes about 20 days to actually see results, so I tested the cream for a month, to be on the safe side. Before I tell you about the effects of this product I have to say that the condition of my skin was very good when I started using the product. My skin looked healthy, acceptably even and hydrated so what the product needed to do was to keep my skin in this condition, even though I skipped the night cream I was currently using, and it did! Sound Sleep Cocoon didn't cause any troubles such as blemishes, I woke up with healthy and radiant skin and the little routine in the evening helped to de-stress and after a long day at work. I can't really say whether I slept better than usually but I did sleep very well even though I've had quite a lot on my plate during the last month. I didn't notice any miraculous effects but it was lovely to use and kept my skin looking and feeling nice.

I will continue using this night cream because I personally enjoy a relaxing bed time ritual so the concept of this product appeals to me very much. The gel-cream feels light on the skin, smells great and seems to do its job. However, at CHF 103 for 50ml, it isn't the most affordable product. To be fair, the packaging is absolutely great and hygienic and the quality of the product is right up there, too. If it's in your budget and you're struggling with sleeping, you might want to give it a try? 

This was the first ever product I've tried from Dermalogica and I'm excited to learn more about the brand. There's a store in Zurich with built in treatment rooms opening next week  and I already have an appointment booked. Maybe you'll hear more about the brand very soon.

Have a great day!
xx Cheryl

*press sample, all opinions are honest and my own.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Londontown Spring Manicure

A few weeks ago I was introduced to the nail polish brand Londontown, which creates nail polishes with a unique and nourishing formula. If you haven't read that blogpost yet and want to know more about the brand, click here to get to my first review

Last time I didn't have their base coat to do a full Londontown manicure so Londontown kindly sent it to me, as well as one of their new spring shades "out of office"*. The spring collection has four gorgeous shades: guilty pleasure, which is a hot pink with a hint of red, summer fling, a fresh pink, amalfi love which is a blueish lilac and finally out of office,  the light pink in the picture below. 

Londontown nail polishes contain natural ingredients pretty much out of your veggie garden to strengthen and nourish your nails. They even contain garlic essence but you won't smell that, I've checked... 

The nail polishes are vegan, gluten free and not tested on animals.

When it comes to quality, my opinion hasn't changed since the last review. The nail polishes dry quickly, they're long lasting and they apply evenly. The shades are opaque with one coat, if you want to get that gel like effect, add a second coat. What I forgot to mention last time is that the brush is pretty small so it takes a little more effort to apply the nail polish, nevertheless it doesn't look streaky. 

The difference I noticed when using Londontown's own Nail Hardener & Base Coat is that the nails really do feel harder than normally. My nails are quite thin and soft which can be annoying because they split easily and I feel like this base coat helps to make them stronger. 

On my nails, the nail polish lasts for about 5 days before it starts to chip. Due to the fact that the manicure is really hard when you use the nail hardening base coat, two coats of the lakur and the Londontown top coat, when it chips, it chips in larger pieces and I need to remove the nail polish instantly because the imperfections are easy to notice. However, the nails underneath look noticeably healthy - that is, if your nail polish remover isn't too drying. In my case, the nourishing formula seems to work and my nails aren't damaged by the nail polish but rather strengthened. I know, at around CHF 20 for a nail polish and CHF 25 for a base coat, Londontown nail polishes aren't the cheapest but from what I experienced so far, they can be a great option if your nails aren't in the best condition. Additionally, I'm very happy with the nature inspired brand philosophy and the more I'm looking into different brands, the more interested I am in this aspect of a product. 

Now I have a question for you: When you're buying beauty products, do you pay attention to the sustainability of the brand and other aspects such as brand transparency? I'm really interested in your opinion on this and you would make my day by leaving a comment with your answer below. 

Have a great day!

xx Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Estée Lauder Spring News 2018

It's all about bright reds and pinks today because Estée Lauder released some colourful spring products! I've tested the Paint-On Liquid LipColor, the Multi Effects Pure Color Envy Lash Mascara and a Double Wear Custom Coverage Correcting Duo for you*. 

Let's start with the Pure Color Envy Paint-On Liquid LipColor. These beauties are available in three finishes: matte, metallic and vinyl. I've put two matte shades, naked ambition and pierced petal and the metallic shade scream sexy to the test. 

First things first, this is not a quick product to use. I always have to sit down and take some time to apply the liquid lipsticks because they're very pigmented and long lasting so I don't want to make a mess. You might need a lip liner, it isn't easy to get perfect contours as you can see in the pictures below. However, once they're on your lips, they will stay there. Forever, if necessary. No, not really, but on my lips they do last during more than one meal and a sweet treat, several drinks and a lot of talking. And if they don't look perfect  anymore after some hours, they don't flake but just fade away in a non-messy way. Actually, I was left with quite a pretty and natural ombre look once. What about hydration? Well, liquid lipsticks and especially mattes usually aren't the most hydrating sort of lip product. The Paint-On Liquid LipColor's are ok in that department. They contain avocado, jojoba and sunflower oil as well as some hyaluronic acid to moisture the lips. I can wear them for about three hours without having to apply some sort of lip balm on top. And let me tell you, three hours is a long time for a matte product on my lips. To keep my lips looking nice, I just dabbed some of the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Repairing Balm on them (it's matte and therefore a good choice) and they felt hydrated again. 

Naked Ambition
Pierced Petal
Scream Sexy
To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of matte lipsticks but Naked Ambition is a very wearable nude shade and will stay with you all day so it might be a good everyday choice. Pierced Petal however is slightly out of my comfort zone and the bright pink doesn't suit me very well. It is a pretty cool colour though. Scream Sexy has the perfect name in my opinion. If you're going for a vampy look, this shade would be the star of the show! The metallic finish makes it look extra special. It's really comfortable to wear and not drying.  

The Pure Color Envy Paint-On Liquid LipColors are available in 23 shades and cost CHF 44. 

Estée Lauder added four new shades to the Pure Color Envy Lash Multi Effect Mascara line: dark red, red, pink and orange. I've tested the green one before and now I got the red one too. Quite a challenge for me, my makeup looks are usually quite natural and red lashes are hard to include into that routine. However, I've tested the mascara and the quality is definitely good. It separates the lashes, lasts long and the color is just as red on the lashes as it is in the mascara tube. In my opinion, it is rather difficult to remove if you apply it on top of black mascara but that might be because I was wearing several coats of mascara. Please let me know in the comments below if you'd wear a bright red mascara and on what occasion. It is available for CHF 39, not everywhere where Estée Lauder is sold but certainly online. 

The last new product I've tested for you is the Double Wear Custom Coverage Correcting Duo in the shade pink. It comes in six shades each with a different correcting effect and they're created as a base for foundation or concealer. There's green to reduce redness, tangerine against dull skin, lavender to correct yellow tones and apricot, peach and pink to correct dark shades. 

On one end, there's a full coverage concealer, on the other end a lighter formula. I like to use the lighter formula around the eyes and the full coverage to conceal any blemishes. Pink would be the perfect shade for me during winter but now I've been to Thailand it's slightly too light for me but it still works as a base because it blends very well. I've even worn it without foundation or concealer on top and it looked perfectly natural. The Double Wear Custom Coverage Correcting Duo's are available for CHF 46. 

All in all the quality of the products is very convincing. The colorful mascara's aren't something I'd wear on an everyday basis but the other two new releases are great for everyday use. I'm sure there's a shade for you too. 

What do you think about Estée Lauder's new products?

Have a lovely day!
xx Cheryl

* press samples, all opinions are honest and my own.