My Experinces With Laser Hair Removal + Tips

They bad thing about having strong and fast-growing hair is having strong and fast-growing hair everywhere. I have been getting is lasered off in the past couple of years. It was a bit different than what I expected, yet I'm really satisfied.

I got my armpits and the bikini line done. The pain is similar to someone snapping an elastic band against your skin.

Body image disclaimer:

I'm not saying everyone has to go and remove all body hair. If you prefer to keep body hair, that's fine. If you prefer to remove (some of) your body hair, that's fine too. This post is intended to provide some useful tips for those considering laser hair removal.

So, did it work?

Yes, but. I was expecting the hair to be completely gone after a couple of sessions, but that didn't happen. After four sessions of bikini lasering there is a bit of fine hair left, but it doesn't come grow out stubbly and doesn't show much. Also, NO INGROWNS. I had to write that in capitals because that is the best part. Also the skin on my underarms used to be permanently bumpy, now it's smooth like a baby's.
Already after the first session the remaining hair was much easier to shave off and I stopped getting irritated skin and those bumpy follicles, so it was totally worth it. 
Of course I could also invest in a couple sessions more, but it seems to be a Zeno's arrow thing. The laser zaps only the hair which are in a specific stage of their life cycle, which is probably like one-third to half of the hair at any given time. Interestingly one beautician told me that women who have always shaved have hair that is more in sync, while those who have waxed / epilated have hair all over the place when it comes to the growth cycle.

Also the hair tends to grow back a bit, one or two sessions each year are necessary for maintenance -- I'm not sure if I'll be doing that because I'm cheap.
Another tip: one beautician told me that lasering the upper lip is usually not worth the money as the hair is comparatively fine and hard to zap.

How to get the best out of your laser hair removal:

First, check exactly what kind of laser the studio has, as they are not equally effective. The studio website usually mentions the laser type, you can google that. You'll need less session with a strong laser than a weak one. On this note, IPL is no real laser and it's not even permanent.
You need to stop waxing or depilating and only shave for at least three months in advance. Cream hair removal should be avoided a couple of weeks before laser.
If you'll be getting any sun at all, invest in a good SPF50 cream, and keep the area covered. 
 You need to plan your appointments around days when you won't be a) sweating, b) going out in the sun, c) taking antibiotics d) swimming / sauna. All these things can cause your skin to either get discoloured or inflamed.
If you're getting your underarms done, remember that you can't use deodorant that day. Baby powder can help keep things fresh.

Don't pick on the scabs that form after the hair removal session.

When (not) to get laser hair removal:

You need to pick a period where you won't be on the beach as the sun can cause a lot of damage to freshly lasered skin. Apparently if you travel to somewhere tropical, not even clothes and sunscreen can protect lasered skin.
You also need top wait a couple of weeks after using depilatory creams, fake tan, or getting a real tan.
Wait till your tan has completely faded, the paler your skin the better the laser will work. The best time is late autumn or winter, as you don't have to worry about sun damage. The exception here are the armpits, they can be lasered even in the summer because you don't walk around with your arms lifted up.
If you are a woman and plan to have kids any time soon, wait till you are done unless you have money to burn. Pregnancy hormones often causes the hair to grow back.

You can't do laser hair removal if you are taking antibiotics, as they make the skin very susceptible to damage. If you do fall sick and have to pop some, you need to postphone your next session by at least 2 weeks.
Medications such as certain antibiotics, iron supplements, St John's Wort or sleeping pills can make you susceptible to a phytotoxic reaction. If you have been taking any, you need to wait before  your laser appointment.
Here is an exhaustive list of the contraindications, including skin issues, birth control and medicaments.

Groupon makes lasering affordable:

Around spring Groupon usually has deals on laser hair removal. Around here it came down to ca 20€ per session (doesn't matter which body part). Do you get what you pay for with Groupon? One of the studios I went to was really amazing with a really modern laser machine, they were on Groupon because they just opened and were looking to attract customers. The other one wasn't that great, they didn't give me all the information about contraindications and after-care (thankfully I had researched online), also their laser was a tad weaker. The place where I lasered my underarms was much weaker, so even after 8 sessions there is a bit of hair left.
It makes sense to buy at least 4 sessions on Groupon, that is the minimum it takes to clean up an area.
Apparently the laser patent will be expiring really soon, which should make lasering much more affordable.

 So, you can let me know if you have any questions. Or maybe you've had a laser hair removal and would like to share your experiences? Comment below!
Photo credit: Stas Kules

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Magnesium Oil Is An Amazing Natural Deodorant + Why I Supplement Magnesium

Magnesium Oil Is An Amazing Natural Deodorant + Why I Supplement Magnesium

Guys, I discovered a really really good purely natural deodorant -- magnesium oil! Firstly, it is very important: I mean magnesium chloride and nor magnesium sulfate. (I tried both).

Magnesium oil is simply Magnesium chloride dissolved in water and is not actually an oil. Apart from working as a deodorant, it can help bring your magnesium levels up (most people are deficient due to high estrogen levels, stress,  bottled water coffee and other factors). Interestingly it seems that magnesium is absorbed through the skin better than it is orally.

As a deodorant magnesium oil is surprisingly good. With all natural deodorants I tried so far I need to reapply within 24 hours, but with magnesium oil I smell absolutely clean on the next day. I haven't tested it yet for longer periods of time because showering is one of my favourite things in the world. It does get me through sweaty workouts, my sweat is odourless.

After applying the magnesium oil stings a bit. This usually goes away after a week of use. It also takes a bit to absorb, and I usually wipe away the rest after 10 minutes. You can also apply magnesium oil on the feet or any area that you have smell issues with. Of course you can also spray it on areas that feel tense.

Magnesium oil can be bough in health food stores. To DIY your own magnesium oil, mix magnesium chloride flakes with distilled water in a ration of 1:2. Pour into a spray bottle. Often magnesium chloride flakes are much cheaper than magnesium oil.

    I discovered this use of magnesium oil by accident, while reading up on transdermal vs oral supplementation. I first started occasionally supplementing magnesium when my gyn told me to take a couple of pills at the onset of periods to cut down on cramping; but when I told my holistic doctor about my recurring tension headaches and the pain and tightness in my shoulders and neck, he recommended that I take up to 900mg Magnesium a day. I read up on it and it seems that lots of people are heavily magnesium-depleted, especially women -- which is one of the reasons for chocolate cravings. Anyway, after a few weeks of taking three magnesium pills a day I haven't had any shoulder aches since. What is even more interesting is that the magnesium really calmed me and cut down on the anxiety --  it's like my body doesn't respond to the anxious thoughts, which in turn calms my mind. Again, I read up about this and I found forum discussions about how supplementing magnesium helped people with social anxiety to leave their house to go shopping.
Interestingly I have read that supplementing magnesium also can cut down on body odour.

You can't really overdose on magnesium because the body can easily get rid of the excess -- through diarrhea. So if you are prone to loose stools you need up your magnesium intake gradually.

Have you ever tried magnesium oil ? let me know whether this works for you, especially if you live in a hot place.

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DIY: Versatile Makeup Setting Mist

  Today I want to show you how to make a super-simple spray that can make your makeup look less powdery and more natural. This spray is no unitasker, It can be used as a toner, refreshing mist or to foil powder makeup (wet application).

Since a long time I have been using water to set my makeup. This makes the powder nicely sink into the foundation and gives me a smooth, dewy finish. It makes foundation look much more natural, with mineral foundation you can hardly tell that there is a product on the skin. After a while I switched from plain water to hydrolates like rose and orange water and thermal water.

Then I found out that you can buy ready-made products especially meant to set and fix makeup. What is the difference, you ask? Setting sprays help the various layers of makeup blend together into one layer, and get rid of the powdery look. Fixing sprays make your makeup last longer -- you can tell them apart by the fact that alcohol is one of the top ingredients (regardless whether the label says fixing or setting). Anyway, I went through the ingredients. Most setting sprays are based on oils or glycerin.  The problem is of course other ingredients like perfume, alcohol and silicones as well as problematic preservatives.

  So here is a simple makeup setting spray that you can make yourself. It's a super easy recipe and the ingredients can be easily found. Of course I have added variations and tweaks for those of you whole love to tinker with ingredients. However I suggest that you try the basic version first, because if you add everything you can get your hands on and the mist doesn't work for you, you won't know which ingredient is the culprit.

  This makeup fixing mist is also very versatile: you can use it to foil makeup (mix it with powder eyeshadows, blushes, or mineral makeup for a deeper colour). It also works as a simple toner or a refreshing spray during the day for the face and hair.

DIY Makeup Setting Spray


Water: distilled water is best, or boiled water. You can also use a hydrolate like rose water or your favourite toner (alcohol-free).
Vegetable glycerin or Aloe Vera gel: this makes the product thicker and fixes the makeup. Either one should be 100% pure with nothing added to it. I recommend Aloe Vera over glycerin since it doesn't expire and it doesn't block pores.
 Atomizer / Spritzer bottle: Do disinfect it with alcohol if you are using an old one. Try to find one that releases a fine mist and not a jet spray.
How to: Mix 1 part aloe-vera / glycerine to 4 parts water. If you find this is too thin, you can add more more aloe-vera / glycerine. If it is too thick, add more water. Mix really well, and transfer into your clean bottle.

   If you have used glycerine, the shelf life of your spray should be around two weeks (three weeks in the fridge). To extend the life of the product you can add a preservative, like alum (I break off pieces of my crystal deo for this). DIY cosmetic stores usually store non-toxic preservatives, I use these.

Other ingredients you could add:

Vitamin E oil from a capsule: is a natural preservative. Soothes the skin, moisturises, minimises lines. Avoid it if you have really oily skin or are prone to breakouts.
Essential oils: do look up in which dilution you should use them, and avoid photosensitive ones.
Oils a couple of drops are great for dry skin, or in the winter as an extra layer to protect the skin against cold air (especially if you are prone to broken capillaries). I especially recommend jojoba oil since it is very stable and light.
Alum is a natural preservative. It tightens pores and is antibacterial. If you have been using crystal deos, you probably have pieces lying around.

The ingredients below will shorten the shelf life of the makeup fixing spray, so either make a fresh batch after 2 weeks or add a preservative:
Fresh cucumber juice (squeeze out a chunk of cucumber). This will shorten the shelf life).
Green tea instead of some / all of the water.
Aloe vera distillate instead of some of the water is great for an extra dose of moisture.
Other extracts / vitamins available in stores with cosmetic ingredients.

You can get the ingredients in these places.

How to use your makeup setting spray

   Spray your face with it after you have finished doing your makeup. If you want you can press a paper tissue onto your face. Alternatively spray a bit of the setting spray onto a cotton pad and press (press! Not rub!) it into your face. No, your makeup will not come off. It's like magic!
  Alternatively you can also try misting your face before applying makeup: often makeup goes on better on moist skin.

Store bought makeup setters and fixers I recommend:

   If you need something natural for every day, I'd recommend something with a skin-friendly ingredient list. The one from Alverde is nice and inexpensive. The one from Caudalie has a very nice ingredient list. You can also use thermal water or a hydrolate.

   For special occasions like weddings where you really need your makeup to stay on for a long time no matter what, you might want to invest some money in a good fixer spray, like Kryolan Fixer Spray or Ben Nye, both theater-quality. Other options are Art Deco Fixing Powder, Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray (All Nighter or Dew Me), NYX Makeup Setting Spray and the ones from Skindinavia. Fixing spray should be used at the end, after a setting spray. As it contains alcohol, it should not be used every day.

Do you use a spray to fix your makeup? Or maybe you have even tried the "diving method"? Let me know.

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My Best Laundry Tips -- How To Keep Your Clothes Looking (Almost) Like New Longer

Ever since I have been paying much more attention to the quality instead of quantity in my wardrobe, it is important to me that the pieces last longer. I think that nothing ruins your look as run-down pieces.

Learning how to do laundry right is simple, but learning about it took ages. There is hardly any resource with a simple overview of things such as detergent ingredients and temperature. Labels on the clothing are misleading. And did you know that the pH of the detergent is really important?

I sort my laundry into:
Woolens and silk
Delicates* and viscose*
Household linens and heavy fabrics 

The basics:

Fabrics and detergents:
Plant based fibers need a basic pH and animal fibers (wool, silk) need acidic pH level detergents.
Animal fibers cannot withstand higher temperatures.
Energy saving washing machines (European ones) don't actually go up to the temperatures on the buttons. So it you are running a 60° program, it will not actually heat the water up to 60°, but it will mimic a 60° cycle through longer washing times etc. This is one reason why detergents like wash-nuts often "don't work" if you just add them straight into the machine.
Wash nuts are only effective if the actual water temperature is at least 40°c, moreover they are very acidic so they are not suitable for plant-based fabrics. Chestnut detergent is pretty good, ivy detergent made my skin itch slightly.
Powder detergent has been shown by many tests to be more effective than liquid ones because they contain ingredients that would deteriorate in a liquid product. Also they are much more environmentally friendly -- less packaging, and you aren't transporting water over long distances.
Perfumes and harsh detergents cause a lot of skin issues, from acne to dryness, so I really would advise you to switch to ecological detergents.
I don't use bleach, it's really not healthy for you or the environment.You don't actually need to disinfect anything you have been wearing on sleeping in, it has bacteria that you already have on your skin. For whitening I use oxygen bleach and the sun.
Newly bought fabric items are literally doused in chemicals, wash at least once before wearing.
Wool naturally resists dirt, and can be worn several times without washing. Wearing a tank top below protects it from sweat. Same goes for woollen socks: wear a cotton one below.

Clothing care labels:
These are misleading, for example you can safely machine-wash most hand-wash-only and dry-clean-only items. I do this all the time and have never destroyed an item. The labels list the most conservative washing method, and have more to do with legal regulations that the actual item.

How I launder my stuff:

My goals:
Keep my clothes nice-looking longer
Be kind to the environment
I own a Miele washing machine, very stable but not very modern and not very fast. There is a clothesline outside and one inside in the cellar (it is illegal to dry clothes indoors due to danger of fungus as the apartments are really well isolated). I don't own a dryer. I have kids so I usually do several loads of laundry per week.


Most of my personal clothes get the royal treatment since I buy them with great care and I don't grow out of them. I actually wash most of my personal clothes (except jeans) on a separate load -- on the delicate cycle. The delicate cycle doesn't spin dry, so the stuff takes longer to dry (3-4 days in the winter), but I don't care as long as it looks better longer. 
I use mesh bags to contain anything with lace or anything extra delicate. I also put anything with a zipper or hooks in mesh bags. Bras go into thicker bra bags. 
The detergent I use depends of the fabric. If there is no viscose I'll use the coloureds detergent, otherwise I'll use one meant for delicates and wool.
I always add one of these reusable colour-absorbing towels into the wash, they seem to catch quite a lot of dyes! It's basically a small white terrycloth towel, it's snow white when you buy it and it turns darker with every wash.
I also put a dash of white vinegar into the rinse cycle, I found that it cuts down on the lint!
I hang up most of my clothes in the shade.
If you want your bras to last forever, you should use a detergent-free lingerie wash, here are some recommendations. The only bra I hand-wash is the Parfait Affinitas Charlotte because I love it so I'm terrified that I won't be able to replace it with exactly the same model and colour.


Wool and Silk:

These absolutely have to be washed separately from other clothes. Both wool and silk are protein-based, and need a detergent with an acidic pH level. Moreover neither can stand much agitation or higher temperatures -- wool will felt if you are not careful. So you absolutely must use the wool program on the washing machine and a detergent especially for woollens. Add a bit of vinegar to the rinsing cycle to keep the wool soft and to prevent felting. Do not use a drier!
You can also use wash-nuts for wool and silk, as they are acidic. However the temperatures for the wool program are too low to activate the wash-nuts, so you need to first soak them in hot water for 15 minutes.
To soften wool you can try adding hair conditioner to the rinse. To soften really scratchy items, soak them in a mixture of  hair conditioner and glycerin, and don't rinse out.


I use a detergent especially for whites for this, as it does not contain ingredients that prevent leaching of dyes. I usually add a bit more sodiumpercarbonate (oxygen bleach) and allow the clothes to soak (soaking program) for a couple of hours (most whites-only detergents contain this already, but I like to add more). The sodiumpercarbonate works instantly in temperatures over 40°, but it will also work in cooler water if you give it a few hours time (you can test this out with stained coffee cups!). I buy mine in the Müller or organic stores, it goes under Sauerstoffbleiche in Germany, you can also buy it dirt cheap online and it has so many household uses. For example I soak the horribly discoloured cooking stove knows in it and they look snow white.
I love to hang up white laundry on the line in the summer, preferably wearing a white dress and singing. The sun bleaches out a lot of the stains, especially baby underwear.



Household linens, and most clothes of my family members come into this category. 
Again I let the clothes soak with sodiumpercarbonate, interestingly it takes out stains but doesn't affect the colour.  And soaking is always good, I think. I use a colour detergent, it contains ingredients that prevents dyes from bleeding. I use the generic 30-40°c wash cycle, with plenty of spinning at the end. I usually hang up the items outside in the shade, unless it's a really nice item that I don't want to fade.


You can't wash viscose with a regular detergents as they contain cellulase. Cellulase is an enzyme that removes the pills from cotton fabrics but will break up the cellulose in the viscose. That's the reason you see the weird pills on viscose if you don't wash it correctly.
Contrary to what people often say, viscose isn't particularly fragile and I find that as long as I wash it on the delicates cycle it doesn't get misshapen or anything. I usually wash viscose together with other delicates.

Here are two more slightly different methods of cleaning that I thought I'd include because they are really useful:

Sun washing:

The properties of the UV rays of the sun are so underestimated. You know how bedding gets all fresh and crisp when you hang it out in the sun?  The UV rays kill of mites, bacteria, fungus, they dry up moisture and leave everything smelling good. I put all my bedding (pillows, blankets etc) in the sun once a week, once a month I sun my cushions, small floor mattresses, carpets and the removable parts of the sofa. I find that doing this gets rid of the vague unfresh smell that often lingers in homes.
I usually use the weather forecast to play this ahead of time, I don't want to deal with wet stuff if the rain comes.

Snow washing:

If you have a carpet, the snow can be a great (and free) way to clean it. It really works as long as you make sure that temperatures are actually below freezing, and that you let the carpet cool down first. Here is a good tutorial.

   Does this sound like a lot of work? It is and yet it isn't. I make my kids bring up and Konmari-fold and put away their own laundry, so at least that's something I don't have to do myself. I don't wash most of the stuff after just one wear, apart from underwear, socks and things work on very sweaty days. Bedding gets washed only once a week, and again I get the kids to help.
   Finally I wanted to say that I'm sick all week and when writing this I realised that being sick makes me forget how to grammar. So I'm sorry of the English in this post is weirder than usual.

Photo credit: Gratisography

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Tried And Tested Hangover Remedies From Me And My Friends

So probably at least some of you plant to be hungover this Sunday, so I thought I'd share some of my hangover remedies as well as ways to prevent getting hungover in the first place.

* Stay hydrated
This is a no-brainer, but in practice it's not always so easy. A friend of mine swears by following each glass of alcohol with a glass of water. In Germany you can usually only get soft drinks or sparkly water in bars at night, however in my city the tap water is one of the best in the world so everyone (or at least cheap frugal people like me) just drink out of the hand washing tap. I have also been known to hide a plastic water bottle near the entrance of the club or in my coat or bag. It's pretty common for women to pile their handbags in the middle of the floor and dance around them, it's kind of funny actually.

I usually pre-hydrate on the day before a big night out, so that I'm starting with a surplus. And then drink a lot of water when I come home. If I do it right, then I don't have a hangover at all the next day.

* Eat carbs + fat
Nausea happens when the stomach has to digest lots of alcohol and nothing else. Eat something absorbent carbs like crackers along with fat, and you won't get nauseous. Pizza is great, but peanuts also work. I usually stash a snickers bar into my bag when I go dancing, and when I get home I eat something before going to bed.

* Sauerkraut or pickled cucumber juice
Not sure where I picked this up, but it works. Funnily I don't like the taste very much normally, but after a night of partying I crave it in the morning. Sauerkrautsaft and pickled cucumbers (pickled, as in with live cultures, not those in vinegar) is full of electrolytes probiotics, minerals and vitamins. It's actually sold in most stores in Germany. Obviously actual Sauerkraut is good too, as well any other food or drinks with (live) probiotic cultures, like pickled cucumbers.

* Oil pulling
My friend swears on this. You swish oil around in your mouth for 5-10 minutes. It gets rid of the weird taste in the mouth and surprisingly made me feel much better.

* Milk Thistle supplement
Take one before you start drinking and one at the end of the night. Not only does it prevent hangovers, it protects the liver. 

* Ginger and peppermint tea
Best with honey. Soothes my stomach and peps me up.

* Tomato juice or banana.
For the potassium.

* Do not use paracetamol / acetaminophen / tylenol !

It is damaging to the liver, and it can be dangerous when the liver is already stressed with alcohol.

Obviously the best way is to drink with moderation. This can be difficult for some people. There is a saying "first you have a drink, then the drink has another drink, then the drink has you." I have never drunken more than I could handle because I have a weird little system: I count the levels of the effects of alcohol. 0 is completely sober, 1 is a slight buzz, 2 is I'm having trouble pronouncing the longer German words, etc. When I notice that I'm on level 4, which in my case is having problems with balance, I don't buy another drink until I'm back to level one. (To be fair, I have trouble walking straight when I'm sober, I usually bump my shoulder into the person I'm walking next to. So this scale is extremely subjective. I've seen people losing their capacity to talk without slurring but stay completely balanced.)

What are your hangover remedies? Have your tried Sauerkraut juice?  

Also, happy new year to all of you! The Germans have a very funny way to wish that, they say "guten Rutsch" which means something like "a good slip/slide (into the new year).

Photo credit: Naomi August via Unsplash

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Daylight Lamp Against Winter Depression -- Beurer Daylight Lamp Review

I've been meaning to buy a daylight lamp since a couple of years, and after a push from my doctor I actually did it. You see, I have a very hard time each winter, my body acutely thirsts for sunlight. And there isn't any for weeks at a time. When the clouds finally break I often lie in a path of sunlight like a cat or something. When I've had a bit of sun I'm a completely different person.

Like with most things I took quite a bit of time to shop around and research, and settled on a Beurer TL 30. I picked it because it is the size of a tablet and flat (23,6 x 15,6 x 2,6cm), which means I can easily store it or transport it. It also has LED lights which means it uses almost no energy. It has a small stand at the back which also allows the lamp to be hung.

Anyway, has the daylight lamp been worth it? A resounding yes! I felt the effects from the first day I used it. I feel more alert and awake, and don't crash at dusk (which is at 4:30 pm here in December). I have "normal" evenings on days when I use the lamp, meaning that I am moderately tired but not more so than in the summer. My mood is also pretty fine.
If you are suffering from winter blues and a listlessness and lack of energy during the darker months, I really really suggest you try a daylight lamp out.

I use my Beurer daylight lamp for half an hour every day in the morning, while I eat breakfast or am at the computer. It stands on my desk near my face. After half an hour the light starts getting annoying so I switch it off. If your house is warm you can try taking of your shirt to expose more skin to the light, I find that it is more effective. Another way that my doctor recommended is to let the light shine on the soles of your feet (under a blanket, if you easily freeze like me). Don't use the lamp in the evenings or it will keep you from falling asleep.

I got my Beurer TL 30 off Amazon for around 50€. If you are in Germany, I saw the the Beurer lamp for a similar price in the next Tchibo catalogue.
Other good (but bulkier and pricier) lamps are those from Philips and Davita. Of course there are tons of other brands out there, but for the lamp to function properly it needs to have a brightness of at least 10,000 lux, and it needs to be UV-free.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.

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Balancing Your Beauty Budget Part I: Spending Categories and Priorities

Beauty should not be a big part of your budget.

This might sound strange coming from a beauty blogger, but it's true. There is just so much more that you can put your money to, like experiences. Or learning. Or charity. 

That said, most of the time we don't actually know how much we are spending on our skin, hair and makeup. Or if we know, the spending is often not in line with our actual needs.

To make a beauty budget that serves you, it helps to have broad guidelines as to how you actually want to spend your money. I don't want to discuss how much exactly is "fine" to spend and what is "too much" since this is a very individual thing. But let's assume that a) you choose to set a limit to the outflow of money that goes towards beauty, and b) you want to spend that outflow in a way that serves you best.

Splurge categories:

The first step I suggest is defining your top priorities, or what I call splurge categories. These are the things you'll be spending most of your money on.

Sun protection

Because prevention is better than cure, and there is no other prevention like sun protection. And good sunscreen doesn't come cheap. Don't skimp here.

Beauty problems and goals

What is the biggest issue of your skin and hair? If you could define one or two beauty goals, what would they be? Be specific, like increasing hair volume or dealing with under-eye circles. Long-term issues like psoriasis also come under this category.
This part of the budget will help you buy a couple (not more) of well-chosen products for your needs. Maybe you need a very specific mascara or concealer. Or a serum that deals with hyperpigmentation. Or maybe you want to put away this part of the budget to save up for eyebrow blading. Whatever it is, it should address the bigger issues.


Because man does not live by bread alone, you need hyacinths for the soul. For this category pick something that you love. Artisanal soap. Lipsticks. A face mist that doesn't do much but smells heavenly. I believe that consciously choosing a couple of luxuries that really make your heart sing will prevent overspending and impulse buying in other categories.

How much exactly you want to assign to these categories is something to decide for yourself. If you're in doubt I'd say that you can start with assigning half of your beauty budget to the Splurge categories. You can adjust this later on. At this point it would be interesting for you to know how much you roughly spend on your beauty needs each month. Try to note down last month's expenses, and see if they are in line with your general spending values.

What would go into your splurge categories? For me this would be mineral foundation and serums (goals) and highlighters (joy).

Photo credit: Fabian Blank via Unsplash

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How To Convert Your Bras For All Kinds Of Difficult Tops: Strapless, Low-back, Bandeau, etc

I thought I knew all about convertible bra straps, but this lady takes it to another level. She covers backless dress, strapless, racerback, one shoulder, plunge neckline, halter top, bandeau and more. Especially what she doesat the 8-minute mark is seriously genius.

You can get the removable straps pretty cheap on Ebay. Or make one yourself.

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Weekend Reads 17-12-2014

      Hi everyone, have you been? It's been a while since the last weekend reads, so without much ado here you go:

 * I know that the concept of Hygge has been done to death and horribly commercialised. So I was really happy to find an authentic blog about it from an actual (half) Dane. Some of my favourite posts from Hygge House are the shabby house, candles in the city, healing gifts, the real hygge,

* How to Become Less Uptight in Two Minutes

* Home: My Scandinavian Home has lots of interior that I love.

* Frau Frida's blog is full of beautiful cozy homey photos. If you can't read german, you'll still want to scroll for inspiration.

* How to eat less crap during the holidays.

* Great tips on styling cardigans

A Christmas movie that is as fun as it is charming, with very young and adorable Winona Ryder, Christian Bale and Kirsten Dunst:

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Tips For Skin And Hair Care In A Sauna

Sauna Tips + What To Take + What If You Don't Want To Be Naked

I can't think why I didn't write anything about Saunas yet! Saunas are my favourite way to get rid of the winter blues. It's not just about the health benefits or what it does to my skin (makes it amazingly clean and soft), it's about tanking up on all the sensations I've been deprived of all winter. Let me explain -- a big cause of winter blues for me is that I miss all the ways my
The touch of warm wind and sun on my skin, grass under my feet, the heady mix of thousands of scents. Even the sound background is different -- birds and insects and the wind in the trees. During the winter I feel so isolated from everything, when I do go out it's packed in a hundred layers and in a hurry to get to the next warm place. It's too cold to leave the window open to hear the rain.

Sauna give me my much-needed portion of warmth and sensations. The best part that gives me a rush is going for the pause between sessions to the outdoor lounge area, where you can be naked even during even the coldest temperatures (or even better, a storm) and not feel the cold.

Apart from the huge health and well-being advantages, the sauna is really good for the skin. It opens up the pores and cleanses them, and the cool shower afterwards closes the pores and smooths the skin. In the long term, sauna strengthens the skins natural resistance.

What to bring to the sauna:

* Big towels. One for inside the sauna, one to dry off after a shower, and a third one (or a bathrobe) to wear in between sessions. Another one if your hair is long and needs its own towel.

* Rubber slippers. You don't want to catch anything.

* Skin and hair care products: oils, moisturisers, serums.
* Soap and shampoo.

* Scrubbing mitt. Scrubbing products can be frowned upon or forbidden if they look like they are going to make a mess or clog anything. One exception is a salt scrub, in fact some places have a little bowl where you can help yourself for free.
* Something to read.
You normally leave your clothes and handbag in a locker or a changing room, so you need something to carry the stuff in that you'll take inside. I like a Bolga basket as it means I don't have to rummage, plus it doesn't mind moisture. I have a small Baggu flat pouch for my skin products. Ideally I'd like something with a short strap, as it would be convenient to hang it in the shower.
At the end you end up with a bunch of wet towels, so it's a good idea to have a wet bag or plastic bag to pack them in.

My Sauna beauty routine

I use the heat of the sauna to my advantage. I always apply oil on my hair in the beginning because the heat helps it to penetrate into the hair shaft. If you have very dry or cuperouse skin, you can apply a heavier cream or oil on the affected areas.
After the first heat session I like to thoroughly scrub my skin, usually with Savon Noir and a Kessa glove. Sometimes I'll use a sachet of the Michael Droste-Laux Basisches Edelstein Bad as a scrub.

Before the last sauna session I apply deep conditioner on my hair. If my skin has been very dry lately then I apply a light layer of face masque or body oil. Regular cosmetics melt off in the sauna, that is why I prefer oils.

One sauna in my city has a steam room that is made of stone instead of wood, and is hosed off after every use. Here I can go wild with skin care, because I'm not afraid of making a mess. On really nice ritual for such rooms: scrub yourself with sea salt, go for a few minutes into the steam sauna, then shower, then apply honey all over, and spend another 10 minutes in the sauna.

At the end I go for a body butter and a moisturiser or oil for my face. Don't use anything with AHAs or BHAs straight after the sauna as the skin is sensitive. Sometimes I don't apply anything and just let my skin breathe.

Sauna Etiquette:

Don't let your sweat drip on the wood. This means put a towel under everything, even your feet (unless you are siting on the bottom shelf). Get a big towel, especially if you are a big person.
Don't open the door for any longer than necessary. Don't stare. That's basically it.

On Nudity:

There are many reasons why traditional saunas forbid clothing of any kind: not only is a swimsuit very uncomfortable, it can be hazardous to health -- Saunas often include a swimming pool with chlorinated water, and if you swim there and then the chlorine evaporates off your swimming suit in the sauna, it can really damage the lungs of all present. Also, saunas are meant to be safe places to comfortably be naked, and just like on a nudist beach, this works best if everyone is naked.

I really suggest that you try saunaing the traditional way, in your birthday suit. It is very freeing. Many places have a women's day once a week. If you really don't want to be naked, a bikini is much more comfortable than a one-piece. It's also ok to keep your towel around you.

Of course there are many different ways of doing Sauna, this is just the way I like to do it. Do you go to the Sauna? What are your tips? Or maybe you haven't tried it yet?

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