Spring is slowly coming to Finland I hear daffodils are blooming in the UK already ^_^ Can't wait to see wood anemones and liverleaves (those little dark lilac flowers). It has been 3 years since the last time I was in Finland in spring. It is so beautiful in May, damp wooded areas are covered with wood anemones.I also have began putting together my summer looks. A year ago (2011) I began this thing where I put together a few outfits that will be my 'main outfits' in summer. Last year one of my 'main outfits' was a look inspired by Jodie Foster in 'Taxi driver'. In January I saw various runway looks inspired by 'Taxi driver'(German Vogue). I really liked those looks so I went for it. Below is my own interpretation. I really really like 'nude' garments They give a settle hint of nakedness, which is outrageous, which I like. I love love loove that hat This year however I'm planning to wear more dresses.
Yes, but onto the main entry. This time I decided to something fun. I know I'm keeping this blog so my friends (and other people) could get to know me better, and it slightly 'supports' my art practice. Hence this time I'm going to be a bit more personal.
I am a makeup junkie. Couple days ago I said on my Fbible profile that the reason why I love makeups is because I can create infinite looks with them. To me it seems natural that I want to paint my face too since I love to paint paintings. Putting on makeup is my morning ritual (when I'm going out of the house), it relaxes me (and helps me to wake up) and it gives me a chance to do something creative, even on my main-income-days when I don't get to do anything artistic. The looks I create with makeups are part of who I am. I know Finns especially look down on people who stand out (especially girls) and I know Finnish girls sniff at girls who wear alot of makeup. And boys don't want girls who wear a lot of makeup because they want a girl who looks the sama every day. However I am happy to say that I don't wear makeup because I want to look pretty. I just love the colours and textures and it's so much fun and relaxing to make all these different looks I think of myself as a sort of a chameleon. Today I may be wearing my white baggy pants and black eyeliner, but tomorrow I may be wearing my black/pink tutu with high heels and wear green makeup. I get bored so quickly that I haven't established a specific look (like Twiggy when she was young).
However I'm not going to talk about makeups today (well just a little), but I'm going to walk you through my daily beauty routine. Note: All the products and their reviews I mention in this entry are based on personal experiences. Nobody is paying me to say nice things about their products. I'm currently using (or have used) these products and I'm just giving you my opinion on how they work. When buying beauty products, I like to read atleast a few reviews on the product before (if) I purchase it. You'll soon see that the products I use, aren't cheap. So I like to think of it as a small investment, which means I need to have all the facts before I purchase anything.
I have combination skin, which pretty much means that my skin is very oily in summer and very very dry in winter. So in winter I need to keep my skin moisturized. I'm currently using Clarins' HydraQuench Cream and that one jar has lasted for 2 winters. I'm almost done with it ^_^ It saved my skin when winter came and my skin 'dried up'. AND it's helping me with my acne problem. Moisturized skin actually prevents acne, don't ask me how this cream worked, it just did. My skin is clearer now, than it was before.
But my real skin hero is Murad's Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel. I've got some pretty nasty, reddish acne scars on my right cheek and one on my chin --_-- Seriously they are so large and vivid that I was convinced that I could never get rid of them without laser surgery... Makeup covers them alright, but I'm conscious about them when I'm not wearing any makeup.
But my mind was changed when my little sister told me about Murad and about this gel I was convinced enough to try this product. It has something to do with cellular water that treats acne and acne scars. If you don't believe me, check out my progress from the pictures below. In just little less than a month, my horrible scars have started to dissapear (slowly). I'm convinced that in 2 months, I should be rid of them.To all of you who have problems with acne scars, I warmly recommend this product. You apply it every evening after your washing routine. You may experience light tingling, but that it's ok. However, if you have any allergies or skin 'problems' I suggest you ask the Murad experts (live chat) on murad.com if their products are compatible with your skin. My little sister has very sensitive skin. She can't use The Body Shop products, but her skin was ok with Murad's products I did my best with the shots. Pics 1 and 3 are taken in the same bathroom under the same light, no flash. Pic 2 was taken in the bathroom of my family's cabin, no flash. I took the shots after applying the gel.
I was my face and makeup with The Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash. Because it's oil based, it removes even the toughest foundation. However, this is not suitable for removing eye makeup. If this gets in the eyes, it hurts. I was once forced to use this to remove eye makeup because I had run out of my regular eye makeup remover. Well it removed the makeup, but it hurt. Because of my skin is such a good 'soil' for acne and blackheads I have a sneeky suspicion that this Tea Tree Wash is keeping my blackheads and pores under control. But just under control, I mean it could be worse. I have somewhat large pores around my nose and a lot of blackheads on my nose. I can't seem to get rid of them even though this products promises it will rid the user of blackheads. That's not really working for me, but I like how well it removes makeup. I have been using this product for many many years.
I use Clarins Eye Contour Gel to keep dark circles under control. I got really puffy eyes during my summer job in 2009, and really bad dark circles. So I bought this product. And it actually helped. Well it lightened my dark circles and definately fought against puffiness, but it doesn't fade dark circles entirely. I have a hate-love relationship with this product. I want to get rid of dark circles entirely, but this product only keeps them under control. This little tube has lasted for 3,5 years! I use it everyday, in the morning and in the evening and I'm still not done with it! I really like how quickly it works on puffy and tired eyes though But after I'm done with this, I'm off to look for a new dark circles-puffiness product.
Sorry about this layout ^_^' I'm just trying to save space...
And now a few makeup products. My favourite powder, which I cannot go without ever again is M.A.C's Prep + Prime. This powder is a-may-zaah! It's ment to set your foundation and if you are costumed to use mineral foundation, I seriously recommend this product. I have one of M.A.C'c mineral foundation's (which I now only use to highlight my cheekbones) and whenever I used their pigments to create my makeup, the flakes would settle under my eyes and grasp onto the foundation. They'd ruin my foundation even if I tried to sweep them with a fan brush. But with Prep + Prime, I can sweep all I want, and my foundation won't be ruined ^_^ Because this powder sets the foundation so well, giving me that finished matte look. From afar, my face looks flawless. AND this does not cake. So people standing close to me can see the powder finish, but it won't look thick or cakey. I noticed that if I used a regular powder on top of my foundation, it would often cake and make my foundation look really really heavy. YUCK!
But in 2010 whilst I was in Australia a M.A.C clerk recommended this for me. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT It's white powder so it lightens your foundation a little. It should be translucent, but I've noticed that it 'whitens' my face a little (which is good because my foundation is 2 shades darker than my skin --_-- I bought the foundation, it looked good in the store, but not so much in natural light. I didn't know I could return it so I've been stuck with the expensive foundation for almost a year now. Good thing it's an awesome foundation!). I don't mind since I want my skin to be white, but it might be a problem if you like your skin tan.
If you are using mineral foundation or foundation that runs a little sticky, I recommend you to set your face with Prep + Prime. I warmly recommend this product to anyone who uses foundation products.
Favourite eyeliner, and mascara that actually worked:
Yves Saint Laurent Shocking pencil eyeliner and mascara Singulier. Shocking is the best bloody eyeliner I have ever used! It doesn't smudge eyelashes and its pointy sharp tip makes it easy to create stunning cat eyes. I recommend you keep this pen upside down, so the tip won't dry. After a few uses, you have to press it on your palm just a teensy bit to get the liquid stuff going. Otherwise, it handles like a dream. Even with my eyelids, my right lid is perfect, but my left is a little wrinkly in the outer corner. So it's not easy to apply eyeliner. But a YSL clerk told me to tip my head little to my right, whilst drawing the line on my left lid. And you know what, it works ^_^ No more uneven lines. I'm never giving up this eyeliner!
Singulier brought my faith back. I have different set of eyelashes --_-- the lashes on my left eye are perfect: long and thick, but the lashes on my right eye are long yes, but thin and there is a big gap in the middle. Plus the longest lashes in the outer corner are weak and pathetic. I was becoming desperate. I was sure that I couldn't find a mascara that would separate and add volume to my lashes. But then I found Singulier. Because I have somewhat fair lashes, it's better if the mascara has a small brush or a different shaped brush (non-traditional shape). Like Singulier's shape is spiral. A rubber brush should also work on fair lashes. People with fair lashes are adviced to stay clear from the large traditional brushes. They cause clumping and the results will be anything but natural. Singulier's spiral brush really gets even the shortest lashes. It separates lashes beautifully and it doesn't clump or flake. My eyelashes looked like feathers ^_^ very cute and delicate. However the reason why I am not buying this (well in a while atleast) is because it doesn't add enough volume. I'm looking for a more dramatic look than what this mascara can offer for me. I am aware that dramatic volume may not be happening for me, but I keep hoping that I'll find that perfect mascara that delivers everything I ask for. But so far of all the designer mascaras I have tried (2 Diors, 2 Lauder's, 1 Clinique) YSL takes the cake.
I'm currently using Clinique's Lash Power Mascara (long wearing formula) and it's ok. I bought it because a ladie at Sephore recommendet it for my lashes. However! I hate the mascara's substance! I can only apply one layer and then it gets sticky and glues my lashes together. It's ok as long as I apply the coat quickly and from the right angle. The brush is soo tiny. So it should be perfect for my fair lashes in my right eye. But I guess my lashes aren't THAT weak because the brush is way too small to grab all of them perfectly. Lash Power is an ok mascara, and I'm happy to see this through, but I won't be buying it again. Now Dior has always been a dissaster for me. Again the mascara's substance is way too thick and gooey for my lashes. It literally glues my lashes together and I have to pry them apart with a pin. Yes a pin, an eyelash brush doesn't help at all. I thought when Diorshow New Look came out that the new brush, could make it work. Nope, again my lashes were glued together. I tried this product twice to make sure that it really wasn't working, and then I took it back to the store. So to all of you who have thin or 'combination' lashes, I'd never recommend Dior to you. Below is a pic of me with New Look, but this is after I had pryed the lashes apart with the pin.
And my so far favourite lipstick is Lady Gaga for M.A.C Viva Glam nr2. It's this nude-brown colour, kinda like cappucino colour. Like I said, I like nude coloured stuff It's a beautiful colour and it goes with many of my makeup looks.
There are two hair products that I love. First are my shampoo + conditioner by Paul Mitchell.
I use 'Strenght' because my scandinavian hair is thin. Well my hair isn't that thin per say, but it could be thicker (it's always "it could be" right?). My hair is naturally wavy, but because I keep my hair short, people can see that my hair is fair (unless the hairdresser has given me a great cut that actually adds volume by itself). Gemma from Wicked Hair (in Worcester) recommended this for me. I was using Tigi's Bed Head, Dumb Blonde and she told me that that range was too heavy for my hair type. She told me to use Strenght twice a week and the rest of the time use Dumb Blonde. Apparently if you keep using the same shampoo over and over again, your hair will get used to it and it won't make that much of a difference anymore. I went back to Gemma 1,5 month later and I asked her if she could see any difference in my hair, since I started using Strenght. I was so delighted when she informed me that she could see a clear change in my hair's condition Just bought these big bottles of Strenght. And I'm using them along with Bed Head's Superstar conditioner and DB Shampoo.
My other favourite hair product is Tigi's S-Factor Body Booster (Plumping Spray). This is their Catwalk range's improved hair volumizer spray. I wash my hair every other day so this spray really keeps my hair looking fresh even on the second day + it adds a lot of volume I spray this into my roots and then all over my hair when it's clean and damp. I style it during blow drying. Occasionally I apply it on the next day to refreshen. I believe this is my 3rd bottle. I have been using this product since 2010.
There is only one body moisturizer worth mentioning in my books. And that is The Body Shop's Chocomania range. I just got Chocomania's body scrub and it seems that I won't be needing body butters ever again (just kidding, I'm eager to try Chocomania's body butter). I have been using TBS's body butters for as long as I can remember and none of them have supplied as long lasting moisture as the Chocomania body scrub. When you scrub it on, it turns into this mixture between chocolate sauce and shower gel. You can feel the difference immediately. I'll definately buy Chocomania body butter after I run out of Maroccan Rose. And I already got Chocomania lip balm =^_^= TBS states that the Chocomania products keep your skin moisturized for 48h hours. I concur! Did I mention these products smell absolutely divine? I'm crazy about quality chocolate, and especially the lip balm and body scrub smell just like real, luxorious chocolate. But don't taste them! I tried and they don't taste like chocolate Let us just enjoy their work and scent.
And the last item in my beauty regime is The Body Shop's Hemp Protector Hand cream and lip balm. When winter comes, my hands get extremely dry, making the skin crack slightly. But the Hemp Protector came to my rescue It is very, very heavy and creamy. So I recommend you use gloves if you are planning to use this during the day. I apply it when I go to bed, so I won't be touching anything except my sheets. I hang my arms over my bed to let the cream settle + dry for a moment. This hand cream has been very helpful, since winter in Finland is tough and the soap at my work is anti-mosturizing. Same goes for the Hemp Protector lip balm. The air at my work was really like dry or something and it made my lips dry, causing them to crack slightly. But thanks to the Hemp range, my lips are no longer dry at work ^_^ Will continue to buy these products.
That's all I pretty much have to say about my beauty regime. And I can proudly say that all of my beauty products are Cruelty-Free. You see, I don't buy products that have been tested on animals. I am ethical, so I research on beauty companies etc to check that they are in fact cruelty-free. I know many designer cosmetics are in the 'Grey-Area' because they haven't announced whether they test their products and/or ingredients on animals or not (Like Dior and Chanel). But YSL for example is cruelty-free But more about animal testing and cruelty-free products later (in part 2 -> See part 1. for fur farming)
Since the Murad product is working out so well, I'm looking to buy their T-Zone Pore Refining Gel next. I'm also on the market for a mascara from Too Faced (first time). It's all fun to try out new beauty products =^_^=
I hope you enjoyed my little entry and found my reviews on the products insightful and helpful.
Until next time when we'll be looking at the artist of March