Cosmetic Favourites December 2017

I haven't been writing about new products recently because I haven't been buying that many. I have pared down my make-up and skin care routine to tried and trusted products, and I find that the less I have the more I actually use. My mineral make-up isn't going to run out in the next years, and I buy new make-up products only when I'm really sure I want them and know what to do with them.

For example the Catrice palette. I was looking for a dupe for the Clinique Chubby Stick in Ample Amber. I loved its subtle toasted shimmer, it's perfect for every day wear. So I prowled around the shelves in the Müller, testing the chubby stick (I must have looked shady because the salesladies rudely told me that if I wanted to test something I have to ask them -- since when can't I simply use the tester?). Then I found three viable dupes -- an Essence Blush, the Catrice Art Couleurs eye shadow in Ashton Copper and then the palette. Of all of the shades this one came closest, also I was getting a whole bunch of colours fur less that 5€. As demonstrated:

The Precious Copper Collection Eyeshadow Palette

The colours have a decent amount of pigment, nice shimmer that is not too sparkly (they apply more satiny than how they look in the pan), and feel "moist" and are really easy to blend. My only gripe is that the dark sculpting colour is sparkly. I have slightly hooded eyes so the fold has to be matte. But it's not like I don't have a whole palette of matte browns, so I wont complain.
This particular palette is selling out like hot cakes, if you can't find it in the Müller try the DM.

Make Me Bio Orange Energy

On my trip to Poland I finally got my paws on this much-praised moisturiser. And its as good as I heard it was. The ingredient list is beautifully simple. The moisturiser lightens discolourations ( which is something I constantly struggle with), after a few days of use my skin colour was more even and brighter. The cream is rich so I prefer applying it in the evening because I do a heavy layer and let it all sink in. The scent is a simple lovely orange, the texture is like cold cream. The only downside is the price --  ca 12€

Ingredients (INCI): Aqua, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil) Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Cetearyl Glucoside, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Monostearate, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarine) Peel Oil*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Glycerin, Matricaria Chamomilla (Chamomile) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Limonene**, Linalool** *organic **naturally occurring in essential oils

Murumuru butter

Another blogger recommendation. It's similar to coconut oil but without the scent and the greasiness. I use it on the face, hair, lips and hands. The scent is almost neutral. The butter is not greasy and absorbs fast. Murumuru has a higher melting point than coconut butter, which means I have to warm it up in my palms before applying -- this takes a bit of work but it worth it. If you want to melt bigger amounts (for a hair mask) you need to use a stove top or bain-marie.

The murumuru butter is amazing for the hands, especially for damaged cuticles.
For hair care this butter has been called a vegetable silicone, since it forms a protective coat around the hair shaft, protecting it from the elements, adding shine and cutting down on frizz. It absorbs really well. It's apparently popular in Brazil among people with heavy, curly hair as a pre-wash treatment.

De Bruyère Beaute Jumbo Eye Pencil in Bubble 07

It's a lovely soft pencil in a beautiful colour that is hard to define: it's metallic grey-brown colour that could also be described as a smokey something between violet and khaki. Very unique, looks good on most skin colours.  It's easily bendable for instant smokey eyes. A friend of mine had it, I admired it and she gave it to me.

Beeswax Lip Balm

A bee-keeper on a farmer's market praised his propolis and beeswax balm so high that I had to try it. I didn't believe that it would be as good as he said it would be, but here I was pleasantly surprised. This balm heals dry chapped skin on my hands overnight, smoothing any ragged cuticles. It beautifully moisturises my lips in the winter. I have even used it on my entire face and was really happy with the results.
Many bee-keepers in Germany sell such beeswax balms, so I got another one this winter, this time it's a Demeter-certified one. Beeswax balms seem to be everywhere, so if you are looking for the real thing do check that it not contain anything apart from beeswax, a plant-based oil and propolis. I feel that small-time urban bee-keepers are crucial to the survival of bees so I try to support them. Although bees fly everywhere and so certified organic honey isn't necessarily pesticide-free, it's still worth buying because organic bee-keeping is much more humane -- for example the cutting of the wings of the queen is forbidden.

Glycolic Formulations Rejuvenating Face Serum with 25% Glycolic Acid Solution

I found this bottle in the TK Maxx and grabbed it, thinking that it's time to test out glycolic acid. This alpha hydroxy acid moisturises the skin and cleanses it, and in concentrations above 20% it exfoliates, evens out discolourations and minimises fine lines. This serum is quite pleasant to use due to it's gel consistency, but I'm not a huge fan of the smell. Also I'm not a huge fan of the parabens and silicones, in hindsight I should have ordered plain glycolic acid and mixed my own.
INCI: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Mineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 60, Glycolic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Triethanolamine, Dimethicone, PVM/MA ecadiene Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Paraben, Ethyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben, Isobutyl Paraben. 

 Finally, I have began to experiment a bit with taking photos for the blog. I researched a bit and realised that I have to start working with the RAW format instead of jpeg, there is no way around it with the low-light conditions of the German winter. Editing RAW is challenging but rewarding. The photos in this post are my first real attempt, they already look pretty good even though I have no idea what I'm doing. If you have any tips for me, let me know!

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