E-reader online review: Kobo Clara HD vs. Kindle Paperwhite

Hi there! I hope you’re all doing well.

In this post, I invite you to join me as I compare two of today’s most popular e-readers out there. The Kobo Clara HD (2018) and Kindle Paperwhite Gen 4 (2018). First, I’ll be talking about why I, a passionate lover of paper books, made the tough decision to purchase an e-reader; then, I’ll compare the pros and cons of the Kobo and Kindle. Let’s dive in!

Why do I want to purchase an e-reader?

I absolutely love paper books. I love holding them, being able to feel the letters printed on old paper, my excitement going up as a turn a new page, the feeling of accomplishment when I’m on the last page before the chapter ends…and, of course, anything that does not involve looking at a blue-light screen is a great addition. However, books take up quite some space. In my room, in my bag, in my travel luggage, everywhere I carry my books with me I am, once again, confronted with their volume and weight. To be honest, this was never a reason for me to stop purchasing physical books. So, what is? It’s easy (but painful), I simply do not have any space for more books. Yet I still love to read, a lot. So, I guess I have no other choice than purchasing an e-reader…, right? E-books are often way cheaper and way more sustainable as well. But on the other hand, what about all the things I love about reading in a paper book? I also feel pretty bad about contributing to putting bookstores out of business. Even though many public libraries are offering a great selection of e-books as well, what about those little bookstores that are not getting any funding or support? I’m not entirely comfortable with that thought yet ,but I’ll find a way to fix it.

I’ve been doing some research (reading articles, comparing e-readers, watching reviews on YouTube) and found that most people purchased an e-reader (1) to limit their screen time- which is also relatable for me, (2) because they are more convenient for traveling / commuting, (3) to start reading (more), and (4) because e-books are generally cheaper. I think these are some pretty great reasons and benefits, and they just might outweigh my love for paper books. Alright, let’s start comparing.

Kobo Clara HD

The first e-reader I’ve been interested in is the Kobo Clara HD (€130 / $120)

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons. Excellent battery life, what does that mean? How can we define “excellent”? Several reviewers mentioned that their Kobo Clara HD could go 3 to 4 weeks with daily reading (not taking into account how long they spent reading each day) which sounds pretty great to me? I usually only read for 30mins up to max. 1 hour a day, so I think I should be fine. Apparently this e-reader has ComfortLight Pro which either removes (or reduces, according to other reviews) blue light. Blue light is quite an important point for me because what’s the point of trying to reduce screen time when you’re just reading from another blue-light screen? This is something I’m not entirely sure about but then again, I feel like it will be an issue with all e-readers so that is not necessarily a reason not to pick the Kobo Clara HD. So, a con, not water resistant. Well, how often do I take a bath? Let alone take a bath with a book? Neither do I have a pool or jacuzzi or anything where I could be reading a book. So this is not really a ‘con’ for me. Alright, so apparently the Kobo has an activity mode which provides detailed information on your reading. That sounds pretty fun and convenient, especially since I like to keep track of my progress and take a look at stats every now and then.


Kindle Paperwhite

Now let’s take a look at the Kindle Paperwhite (€139 / $109)

The first thing I noticed was how Digital Trends mentions that the Kindle Paperwhite as a “good battery life“, but the Kobo Clara HD’s battery life was “excellent”. So, that’s certainly interesting. However, let’s try to stay objective. Another pro is that the Kindle Paperwhite has a water-resistant design which makes it suitable for tubs and pools, but like I said, that’s not really relevant for my personal situation- so not that much of a valid pro for me. Also, bluetooth-connectivity for audiobooks. This seems like a great feature for people who are planning to use their e-reader for audiobooks as well, something I’m personally not quite interested in either. Now, the cons. Cannot customize page-turn gestures; but is that possible with the Kobo Clara HD? Not sure. Another con, no option to adjust color temperature. Hold! I’m not looking for a lot of features, but being able to adjust color temperature is something I personally prefer- and the Kobo Clara HD does offer this feature.

So, what’s the conclusion?

Alright, I think it’s pretty clear that the Kobo Clara HD is more suitable for me and my preferences. However, if you’re someone who likes to read in a bathtub or pool, or if you’re planning to listen to audiobooks, the Kindle Paperwhite might be your best option. So, I’m not sure if there’s a clear winner here. Both e-readers are currently competing to become a leader in the e-reader market, and I think they both have different features that match different preferences. I’m planning to buy the Kobo Clara HD for Christmas, so you can expect an updated, extensive, and honest review somewhere in the beginning of 2022.

But until then: stay safe, take care of yourself, and I’ll see you soon!

Review: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant

In this post I will be reviewing the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, an award-winning multi-purpose cream. I first bought this cream on an airport 5 years ago, and ever since then my mom and I have been obsessed with it. Of course, I’ve also done my research before purchasing this cream and I noticed a lot of people mentioned a way too greasy/sticky texture and an unpleasant, almost medicinal smell. Keep reading to find out about my first impressions!

What does the internet say?

Based on reviews on Elizabeth Arden’s website and independent review websites, the cream scores an average of 4.4 out of 5.

The Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant is usually sold in a tube packaging (50ml), and is priced around 20 EUR.

Eight Hour® Cream Skin Protectant is the legendary skincare formula created in 1930 by Miss Arden to soothe and protect skin. An instant, overwhelming success, the Eight Hour® brand continues its legacy today. Celebrated by makeup artists and beauty influencers around the globe, its wonderful versatility and proven results have elevated it to “cult status” in the beauty industry. 

This award-winning skin protectant deeply moisturizes and protects skin any time, any way you choose. Its versatile formula goes beyond moisturizing, working wonders to shape brows, add shine to cheeks, soothe dry hands, smooth cuticles and nails, and more. 

Dermatologist-tested and clinically shown to hydrate and protect skin for eight hours!

DID YOU KNOW? The name Eight Hour® was coined by a devoted Elizabeth Arden client who used the cream on her child’s grazed knee, and ”eight hours later”, it was magically better.

Elizabeth Arden

8 Ways to Use Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant

  1. AT FACE VALUE: Simply rub a dime-sized amount in the palms of hands to warm through, then pat onto the face to seal in moisture.
  2.  COMES IN HANDY: Deep condition by working the formula into palms and over the fingers, then wrapping each hand for 10 minutes in a warm towel.
  3. HEEL-TO-TOE HEALING: Relieve weary feet by mas­saging the cream generously onto soles, pads and heels, then topping with cotton socks for deeper moisturization to heal dry skin.
  4. A FLASH OF BRILLIANCE: Create instant radiance wherever skin normally catches the light, including legs, shoulders, collarbone, cheeks and bow of the lips.
  5. LAVISH THE LIPS: With its effective moisturizing ingredients, this do-it-all wonder perfectly re-hydrates chapped lips.
  6. THE MANE BENEFITS: In addition to its properties as a “skin savior,” the cream’s petrolatum and natural lanolin help smooth strands and moisturize dry ends.
  7. FROST SMITTEN: It can be smoothed onto skin as protection from windburn, particularly when adventuring outdoors.
  8. KEEPING IT HIGH-BROW: Run the tiniest amount through eyebrows to groom hairs, helping neaten and define the arch.

What are my first impressions?

After having read all the reviews before purchasing the cream, I expected the texture to be way stickier than it actually was. In fact, I wouldn’t consider it to be sticky at all. The cream has a smooth texture and, indeed, has a strong fragrance that might come off as unpleasant or medicinal to some, but it definitely isn’t disturbing to me.

When I initially bought the cream, I intended to use it for my dry and chapped lips only. Soon I found out I could also apply it to dry patches on my face and body, and I even applied it on my nose which tends to get very dry when I have a cold.

Even if I might not use this cream everyday, it always comes in handy. I often find myself grateful to have a spare tube in my bathroom cabinet and when I notice I’m running out, I rush to the stores to stock up. This last one doesn’t happen very often, one tube lasts me and my mom an entire year. You only need a little squeeze, whatever you’re using the cream for.

How do I use it?

During the cold autumn and winter days, I apply this cream to my lips when I wake up and go to bed. On my days off I also apply a bit to my eyebrows instead of makeup for a nice and subtle shine and shape. A while back I applied benzoyl peroxide to some acne on my forehead every morning and night for two weeks, and it incredibly dried out my skin. After I was done using the benzoyl peroxide treatment, I applied this cream to my forehead before going to bed for only two nights and my skin was as good as new. My skin doesn’t get very dry very often but if you’re going through skin treatments such as isotretinoin, you might suffer from the occasional dry patches and dry lips. In that case, this cream would be a great solution.

Conclusion

I’m convinced that this cream is a must-have for any household. Even if you’re not using it daily; believe me, it will come in handy and at moments like that, you will be thankful to find a tube in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet. However, if you’re not a big fan of (strong) fragrances, this might not be the right product for you. If you’re still looking for a multi-purpose cream, consider looking at the Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment.

Review: Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation

*This is not a sponsored post.

Hi guys!

Today I’ll be telling you all about my all-time favorite (and affordable) foundation: the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation! Before we dive into the review, let me start by telling you two things about this foundation.

1. This foundation comes in several types.

This is the range for dry to normal skin:

  • Luminous + Smooth
  • Hydrate + Smooth
  • Dewy + Smooth

Maybelline New York didn’t really create a range for normal to oily skin. For this skintype they only created the following foundation:

  • Matte + Poreless

As I have a combination skin (dry areas and oily areas), I only tried out the MNY Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation, which means that I cannot guarantee that my review and personal experiences will also apply to the other foundation types.

2. The MNY Fit Me foundations are available in a bottle (right) and tube (left) format.

I have tried both and genuinely couldn’t find any difference. The quantity of the bottle and tube are both 30ml. The bottle looks more luxurious but for someone with limited space or frequent travelers, you might want to go for the tube packaging. In my experience, the product quality is entirely the same.

Now, let’s start with the review!

What does the internet say?

The Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation is priced around 10 EUR and available in most drugstores worldwide.

Fit Me® Matte + Poreless Foundation face makeup. Mattifies and refines pores and leaves a natural, seamless finish.

Ideal for normal to oily skin, our exclusive formula with micro-powders controls shine and blurs pores. Leaves a natural, seamless finish. Dermatologist tested. Allergy tested. Non-comedogenic.

Apply foundation onto skin and blend with fingertips or an applicator and blend.

Maybelline New York

The foundation is available in over 40 shades, but the available shades in drugstores may vary.

Based on reviews on the Maybelline New York website and independent review site, the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation scores an average of 4 out of 5 stars.

What are my first impressions?

I know I might be a bit too biased as this foundation is one of my personal favorites, so I’m trying my best to stay objective and look at both the pros and cons of this foundation. The shade that matches my skin tone the best is 250 (sun beige).

First off, I think that Maybelline New York has increased the coverage of this foundation over the years. I first tried out the Matte + Poreless foundation as it came out in 2016, and I definitely do not remember the coverage being this great back then. I still had a very clear and even skin back then, and felt like the foundation was more of a BB-cream to me. That’s why it wasn’t love at first sight, and I kept looking for that ‘perfect’ foundation. A year ago I decided to give this foundation a try again. My skin changed a lot over the years, I have discolorations around my mouth and eyes and I have quite some acne spots. So you can image, I was pretty skeptic about using this foundation again. However, this time, the MNY Fit Me Matte + Poreless managed to cover it all up. Whatever MNY did to the formula, I’m thankful!

The foundation has a smooth texture, not too liquid but not too dry. Just a small amount can go a long way, which is why most of my MNY foundation tubes last me months or even up to a year (daily use).

The MNY Matte + Poreless foundation is one of the reasons I stopped buying high-end foundations about a year ago. It’s way more affordable, the quality is the same (if not better) and it’s just way easier to carry around for traveling. Of course I still have one high-end foundation, which is the Huda Beauty Faux Filter foundation, but I haven’t touched it in nearly a year (also partly because of lockdown).

The foundation has a medium to high coverage (with layering) and stays on all day. However, if you have oily skin, the occasional powder touch-up might be necessary; this also depends on the intensity of your day.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I’m a big big fan of the MNY Matte + Poreless foundation. I’m convinced that, when you have a dry to normal skin, the other MNY Fit Me foundation types might be better for you and you will be just as satisfied! Even if you aren’t entirely convinced yet, the foundation is available in most drugstores and incredibly affordable, so it might just be worth the try.

And of course, for any skincare or make-up routine goes: don’t forget to wear your SPF! Spring has arrived, sunnier days are coming so it’s even more important to really apply your SPF and keep re-applying (consider SPF-powders). But more on (the different kinds of) SPF in another post!

Review: Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Foundation

*This is not a sponsored post

Hey there! Today I’m going to review one of my all-time favorite foundations: the Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Luminous Matte foundation! I purchased this foundation as soon as it arrived to Sephora, and I’ve been loving it ever since!

Okay so first off, I only have two foundations. I’m using the Maybelline New York Fit Me! foundation for everyday wear, and I’m using the Huda Beauty #FauxFilter foundation for special occasions such as parties, dinners and other social gatherings because of its full coverage (even with one layer!).

What does the internet say?

Huda Beauty’s #FauxFilter foundation is priced at $40, so it definitely does not qualify as an affordable makeup product. However, the quantity (and quality) might compensate with the price.

Huda Beauty offers the foundation in 40 different shades with 4 undertones, which makes it perfect for every skin tone. However, this wide range also makes it harder to find the perfect shade: more on this in an upcoming post!

#FauxFilter is back with the same full coverage and long-lasting properties, you know and love from the OG formula, but with 24-hour flexible wear, a luminous matte finish AND… it’s fragrance-free!

The true filter effect gives instant coverage so seamless that it immediately unifies skin tone and texture as it blurs skin to give a radiant finish. The non-cakey formula is life proof (waterproof, super long wear (24hr), transfer proof, fade proof, sweat proof, humidity proof.) No matter what the weather, occasion or situation, #FauxFilter Luminous Matte will NEVER let you down.

Formula: Liquid
Coverage: Full
Finish: Matte, Luminous

Fragrance free, Vegan, Non-Comedogenic, Water-proof, 24-Hour-Wear, Mask/Transfer-proof

Huda Beauty

Note: When I bought my first Faux Filter foundation, it wasn’t fragrance-free and didn’t qualify as non-comedogenic, so a major shoutout to Huda Beauty for improving this!

What are my first impressions?

The first thing I noticed when I saw the bottle, was the quantity. In fact, my first bottle last me two years (!). I know that most makeup products have an expiration date, but the foundation was still in perfect shape and I think $40 is a bit too much to just throw away a half-full bottle because it might or might not have exceeded its expiration date.

My first shade was Toffee, and after that I tried Tres Leches. Both shades seemed to match my skintone in the store, but as soon as I applied it at home and went outside, I could see that it wasn’t quite the right shade for me. It wasn’t a very obvious difference and mixing it with a lighter concealer often did the trick, but when I eventually tried out Dulce De Leche (350G), that’s when I knew I finally found the perfect match.

I also noticed the full coverage while I was blending the foundation for the first time. I expected to have to layer to obtain a full coverage look, but you only need as little as one pump. If you’re not looking for that full coverage look, you might even be okay with half a pump.

It’s important to know that the Faux Filter foundation is definitely not ‘lightweight’, you can feel and see that you’re wearing makeup but it doesn’t make you look cakey or oily which is just great.

Conclusion

If you’re ready to invest in a good full coverage foundation, this is the one! Whether you’ve got oily, dry, and/or sensitive skin, Huda Beauty’s #FauxFilter Luminous Matte foundation is perfect for every skin tone and skin type!

Tip: If you’re looking for a more natural foundation that works great for casual everyday looks and fancy party-looks, you might want to check out the Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Skin Finish foundation stick.

Review: La Roche Posay Effaclar DUO+ (Acne Treatment) & Purifying Foaming Gel

*This is not a sponsored post.

As I mentioned in my previous post(s), I’m a huge advocate for simple and effective skincare. No more tons of serums, face washes, facial oils, or harmful exfoliators or peelings. Right now, I’m trying to use the bare minimum and it’s working great for me so far.

I had been reading about La Roche Posay’s skincare products for quite a while, but I never really thought much of it. Then one day, I noticed that my local pharmacy also sold the La Roche Posay Effaclar line and I realized that maybe it really is as good as people claim it to be. As someone who has been battling acne for quite a few years now, I was intrigued and started a thorough research into the Effaclar line.

In this post I will be reviewing the La Roche Posay Effaclar DUO+ Acne treatment and the Purifying Foaming Gel.

The La Roche Posay Effaclar line consists of the Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, Effaclar DUO+ Cream and the Effaclar Lotion. I only purchased the Purifying Foaming Gel and Effaclar DUO+ cream.

La Roche Posay Effaclar DUO+ Acne Treatment

**La Roche Posay Effaclar DUO+ is also available with SPF or with a tint, I used the original one.

What does the internet say?

First off, I realized that the products were not as expensive as I initially thought. The Effaclar DUO+ is priced between €10-€15, with a typical quantity of 40ml in one tube.

The cream claims to effectively target impurities such as existing and upcoming pimples, avoiding them from coming back (anti-return effect); and lighten and avoid acne scars. This shows that the cream is mainly meant for acne-prone skin. The cream quickly absorbs without leaving a trace on the skin. One of the cream’s main ingredients, niacinamide, gives a matte finish. La Roche Posay claims that one should be able to see a significant difference within 12 hours.

Good to know:

  • Tested on oily acne prone skin, severe and recurring blemishes, and stubborn scars.
  • Tested on over 6,700 subjects, all skin tones *
  • Tested under dermatological control
  • Excellent make-up base
  • Comfortable texture
  • Allergy tested
  • Not comedogenic
  • Dermatological observational study – 2 months of use, 6 photo types.

Main ingredients and their purposes:

  • Procerad: prevents the formation of red or brown scars.
  • Mannose: stimulates skin regeneration.
  • APF: helps restore the skin balance for a long time.
  • Niacinamide: intensive sedative ingredient; reduces redness.
  • Piroctone olamine counteracts bacterial proliferation.
  • LHA and salicylic acid have a micro-exfoliating effect without irritation
  • Zinc PCA: keeps sebum secretion under control.

Source

How to use:
1. Cleanse skin thoroughly with the Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel.
2. Apply a thin layer to the whole face every morning and evening. Only a small amount of cream is needed.
3. Avoid getting this product in your eyes, nose or mouth, or on any broken skin as this may cause irritation. If contact occurs, rinse the area immediately and thoroughly.
4. Apply Effaclar Duo (+) to help hydrate the skin, target pimples and reduce breakout recurrences.

Source

What are my first impressions?

I bought the La Roche Posay Effaclar DUO+ and the Purifying Foaming Gel on Black Friday 2020, and couldn’t wait to start using them. I read about some people who mentioned that usage of the Effaclar cream and purifying gel should not be started at the same time, because apparently the skin needs to be given time to get used to the cream first before you start using anything else (this advice came from a pharmacist where they bought it from). This is why I first started using the Effaclar DUO+ for a week, and started using the Purifying Foaming Gel after.

I noticed right away that the Effaclar DUO+ felt very comfortable on my skin. Even though it’s not supposed to leave a ‘trace’ on the skin aside from a mattifying effect, it felt like satin to me. In my opinion, the cream didn’t feel very moisturizing (I expected it to because I was going to use it as a moisturizer in the AM and PM), but since I have an incredibly oily skin I didn’t mind. If you have dry skin, you might want to apply another moisturizer on top of the Effaclar DUO+ (such as the La Roche Posay Effaclar-H Multi-Compensating Soothing Moisturizer)

The main thing I noticed after using this cream for two months was that I did not get any major breakouts anymore. I do still get the occasional pimple (once in a few weeks) that can be fairly hard to get rid of, but as long as the huge breakouts stay away I am more than content. However, I did not notice any difference in the appearance of my hyperpigmentation which was a bit disappointing. The redness from my hyperpigmentation seemed to have reduced, but my hyperpigmentation itself is still as visible.

Conclusion

I am still using the Effaclar DUO+ every morning and evening, after my niacinamide serum (check out my review on The Ordinary’s niacinamide serum here) and I am incredibly satisfied. Truthfully, I was already happy when I didn’t get any allergic reactions or breakouts from the product itself which I was a bit afraid of initially, as my skin is very sensitive. If you’ve got oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin, you definitely want to give La Roche Posay’s Effaclar DUO+ a try.

  • If you’re solely trying to get rid of your hyperpigmentation, I would opt for something else.
  • If you are looking for an effective acne treatment but you have normal to dry skin, La Roche Posay developed the Effaclar-H Multi-Compensating Soothing Moisturizer, which you can apply after the DUO+ treatment. This will keep your skin from getting dehydrated which makes the Effaclar line also useful for people with dry skin.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel

*The La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel is available in a triangular tube (200ml) and round bottle with a pump (400ml), the ingredients are exactly the same.

What does the internet say?

The La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel has a similar pricing as the Effaclar DUO+, varying from €10-€15 (depending on the packaging).

La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Foaming Gel is a mild cleanser targeted on young, oily and acne-prone skin. The Foaming Gel is formulated with thermal water from La Roche-Posay, which has calming and irritation-avoidant features.

Good to know:

  • Foaming, lightly scented and hypoallergenic gel texture
  • Tested under dermatological control
  • Without alcohol
  • pH 5.5 (physiological)
  • With sulfate
  • Against impurities and excessive sebum
  • For oily skin, blemished skin, acne-prone skin

How to use:

  • The Foaming Effaclar Gel may be used 1 to 2 times a day (morning and / or evening).
  • In the hands, lather the gel with some water and massage gently on the face. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Source

What are my first impressions?

The Foaming Gel is indeed very mild and gentle on my skin, the first thing I noticed is how my skin wasn’t left with an immense redness after washing my face (which I usually get from harsh cleansers). I was also happy to find out the product itself didn’t cause any breakouts, as I have a very sensitive skin. I am convinced that this product, in combination with the La Roche Posay Effaclar DUO+, is the reason that I haven’t had any major breakouts ever since I started using the products.

In my opinion, there are a few turn-offs that come with this product though. One of them is the fact that the product contains sulfates, which I am not a big fan of (and you shouldn’t be either). Sulfates are not the best for your skin, but I think it might have been necessary for the gel’s purposes. Another turn-off is that the gel is not the best cleanser for (waterproof) makeup. It’s a good thing that we’re mostly staying home right now and not wearing much makeup, so the cleanser is fine for now. But when the time comes that we start going out to the office or school every day, I might need to use another kind of cleanser before or after, to make sure no traces of makeup are left on my skin.

Conclusion

In my opinion, La Roche Posay Purifying Foaming Gel does what it claims to do. I also like the fact that La Roche Posay is honest and transparent of the product containing sulfates, which many brands usually don’t. This cleanser is great for anyone with oily skin, as it effectively reduces excess sebum (which causes oily skin) and keeps acne at bay as much as possible. If you’re someone who wears lots of waterproof makeup, you might want to consider using another type of cleanser before or after this one, or opt for another cleanser altogether if you’d like to keep your routine as simple as possible.

Review: The Ordinary Peeling Solution, Alpha Arbutin & Niacinamide for hyperpigmentation

*This is not a sponsored post.*

For those who have known me for a while probably also know that I’ve struggled with acne for a long time. Now that (most of) my acne is gone, I’m left with quite some scarring (the ‘official’ term is: post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Although I should consider myself lucky that most of my scars are superficial and barely affecting my skin structure (deep scarring), I’m still not comfortable leaving the house with a bare face. I’ve tried so many methods to get rid of the dark spots, from home remedies in my kitchen cabinet to chemical peelings and expensive skincare products (note: I have never done the dermabrasion treatment which is also considered an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation).

So of course, I did what any other desparate girl would have done: I went to the internet. I read tons of articles on how to reduce hyperpigmentation, I read reviews of skincare products I could never afford, and I watched as many “how to get clear skin” tutorials as I could. There was one thing that recurred in every article, review and tutorial: I need to drink more water. Lots of water. Everyone made it sound like drinking water was going to solve all my problems (Spoiler: it doesn’t). But, I did start drinking more water than I did before. Now I’m not saying that this is the holy grail to clear skin but it sure helped my skin stay hydrated and healthy.


Alright- let’s move on to the reason you’re here. Here’s how (I think) my skin has improved drastically over the past year.

About one and a half year ago I asked some friends about their must-have products to clear acne and acne scarring; and based on all the comments, one brand was significantly the most popular: The Ordinary. I had never heard of the brand before and when I looked it up, all the chemical terms and names sounded a bit scary to me. I mean, BHA? AHA? Acids? Ascorbyl Glucoside? Alpha Arbutin? What was I about to do to my face?! The pricing surprised me though, almost everything was priced for less than 10 EUR. I figured it was worth a try.

Note to self (and my readers): Thoroughly research skincare products before you purchase/use them, especially when they contain acids or other chemicals. Do they fit in your skincare routine? What do the listed ingredients mean and (how) do they improve your skin? Is it making your skin (temporarily) more sensitive?

I’ve tried several serums, peelings, acids and creams by The Ordinary; and here’s how I implemented my favorites into my current skincare routine:

  • 2 times a week: TO AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution
  • Rosewater (toner)
  • TO Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
  • TO Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • TO Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (day moisturizer) / Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference moisturize (night moisturizer)
  • Biodermal SPF50 Sun fluid (SPF)

Every morning and evening, I tone my skin with pure rosewater. Then, I apply a few drops of Alpha Arbutin on my entire face. On the weekends, I like to use my jade roller which allows my skin to absorb the product better; but on weekdays I just let it dry. Lastly, I apply Niacinamide and let it dry before I put on my moisturizer.

On the nights when I apply the peeling solution (for me, that’s on Sunday and Wednesday), I don’t use any other skincare products after; except for moisturizer.

Please note: this combination makes your top-surface skin more sensitive and prone to sun burn and damage. Make sure to wear SPF (minimum of SPF 20) the next day(s). But of course, you should already be wearing a daily SPF anyways :)

I’ve been using the combination of The Ordinary’s peeling solution, Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide for more than 6 months now, and my skin has never looked better. See below for the descriptions and directions of these 3 products.


The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This peeling solution (mask) exfoliates the skin for a brighter and more even appearance.

Directions

Apply on dry, clean face + do not forget to use an SPF the next day. It is recommended to apply this mask in the evening as it may leave some redness on the skin. The peeling comes with a number of important don’ts:

Don’t leave the peeling on for longer than 10 minutes.

Don’t apply on wet skin

Don’t use this peeling if you’re not an experienced users of acid exfoliation.

Don’t use on sensitive, damaged skin.

Don’t use more than twice a week.

pH-value

The pH-value of this peeling solution lays between 3.5 and 3.7, which is why it is recommended not to combine this solution with products that have a higher pH, as this could make the formula (even more) irritating


Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin is a highly-concentrated serum and also includes hyaluronic acid (HA). The serum is supposed to reduce spots and hyperpigmentation. The Alpha Arbutin in this serum is proven to be much stronger than Arbutin or Beta Arbutin.

Directions

A few drops should be applied on dry, clean skin in the AM and PM, don’t forget to wear an SPF in the morning!

pH-value

Alpha Arbutin has a pH value between 4.85 and 4.90. It should be noted that the serum is extremely sensitive to degradation in the presence of water if the pH of the formulation is not ideal. The pH value of this serum is shown to be the most suitable to minimize the degradation of Alpha Arbutin. If you’re not sure what all this means: that’s okay! I do recommend researching the meaning of pH values if you’re planning to use skin care acids more often.


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is supposed to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. The added Zinc (1%) balances visible aspects of sebum activity, which reduces large pores and makes the skin less oily. However, niacinamide is not an acne treatment (salicylic acid).

Directions

Niacinamide can be applied in the AM and PM, before heavier creams such as moisturizers or oils.

According to The Ordinary, independent studies have also shown that niacinamide is an effective ingredient for brightening skin tone.

pH-value

Niacinamide has a pH between 5.50 and 6.50 which technically means it is not suitable to use in combination with the Alpha Arbutin serum. However, this combination has been working out great for me. If you’ve been using this combination and you’re not noticing any improvements, you could consider applying Niacinamide in the AM (recommended if you have oily skin) and Alpha Arbutin in the PM. The other way around should be fine as well. If you’ve got some more time on your hands in the AM and PM, you could consider waiting 30 minutes after applying Alpha Arbutin before you move on to Niacinamide.

P.S. If you have any questions regarding The Ordinary products, or any other product(s) in my skincare routine, shoot me a message!

P.P.S. Coming up: A post with detailed explanation of the (chemical) skincare terms frequently used by The Ordinary and other skincare brands, such as retinoids, AHAs, BHAs, pH-levels, etc.

Review: Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation

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Hi all!

Today I will be reviewing the Estée Lauder Double Wear (Stay-In-Place) foundation, which is often used by professionals for its incredibly full coverage. I bought this foundation a year ago at Sephora in New York (it’s a shame Europe still does not have a Sephora!), but most major beauty / department stores sell the iconic Estée Lauder foundation as well. If you’re new to this foundation I’d definitely recommend you to visit a physical store rather than buying it online, not only because that’s the only way to find out the shade you need but you also cannot be scammed! High-end foundations often sell for way cheaper price on the web and more often than not, they’re not real! So if you find something that seems too cheap to be true, it most likely is.

The Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation comes in a heavy, frosted glass bottle without a pump, so I used the pump of an old Smashbox foundation and placed it on my new foundation. However, Estée Lauder does sell its own pumps separately. 

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I would usually not impulse-buy a €44 high-end foundation which I don’t even need, but you know, I did it anyways and I’m happy I did. I’ve been in love with this foundation ever since I’ve worn it for the first time. I  have some dark spots on my face which I usually cover up with concealer but with the Double Wear foundation, I don’t even need extra cover-up. This foundation has a great full coverage, it stays on all day (or longer), and one pump will suffice for the full coverage!

The Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation is available in 38 (!) shades, so make sure you get the shade that really matches your skin. The shade I own is 4W1 (Honey Bronze). 

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With a retail price at €44, this foundation is definitely not considered affordable. And I’m going to be honest, if you don’t wear makeup as often or if you don’t need a full coverage, you might want to opt for another foundation (or maybe even a BB cream). If you do wear makeup often or if you are looking for that full coverage, this would be a great investment.

Shade: 4W1 Honey Bronze
Finish: Matte
Coverage: Full
Price: US $42 / EU €44
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My #5 fave lipsticks + why

Good morning pretty ones!

Do you also love buying new lipsticks, even though you have an entire stack of old lipsticks at home? If you’re as addicted to lipsticks, lipglosses and lip balms as I am, definitely keep reading! Today I’ll be showing you my top #5 favorite lipsticks + a short review.

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#1 Clinique + Jonathan Adler Pop Lip Colour 

I always thought that Clinique lipsticks were way overpriced for its quality but turns out, I was so wrong. Past November, I bought the Clinique miniature skincare set for €16. The set included:

– Smart Custom-Repair Moisturizer SPF15- day cream 7 ml
– Smart Night Custom-Repair Moisturizer – night cream 7 ml
– Smart Custom-Repair Serum 7 ml
– Take The Day Off Makeup Remover 30 ml
– Liquid Facial Soap Mild 15 ml
– Pop Lip Colour & Primer Lipstick ( 14 Plum Pop )
– High Impact Mascara ( 01 Black ) 3,5 ml

If you’d like a review of another product in the set below, let me know! 

Clinique + Jonathan Adler

And I immediately fell in love with the Pop Lip Colour lipstick, in shade 14 Plum Pop. It does not dry out or turn darker after a few hours, in fact, the lipstick is really moisturizing. Unfortunately, the Pop Lip Colour doesn’t seem long-lasting to me. I’ve worn the lipstick for an entire day at school (09:00 – 18:00)  and had to keep re-applying after I drank or ate something. I drink a lot of water throughout the day so it was really inconvenient. But besides that, I love the colour and feeling this lipstick brings along

Shade: Plum Pop
Finish: Satin
Coverage: Full
Price: US $18.50 / EU € 23,00
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Clinique + Jonathan Adler online

#2 DIOR Couture Colour Lipstick Comfort & Wear 

I actually bought this lipstick a few days ago, because I still had a gift card to use. If I didn’t have the gift card, I probably wouldn’t even look at these kinds of high-end lipsticks. Let’s be honest, would you be willing to pay €38 for a lipstick? I know I wouldn’t.

Anyways, I do love it. The lipstick I bought is in the shade 964 Ambitious Matte. It’s long-lasting and the name already says it: it’s pretty comforting to wear. The lipstick doesn’t dry out my lips but it doesn’t feel heavy or too much either. Besides, it’s highly pigmented which I really like since my lips are naturally a little dark.

If you’re able to spend a little more on make-up than most of us, I’d definitely recommend this lipstick. But I’m convinced that there are much cheaper, similar lipsticks out there with the same quality (e.g. a classic Chanel lipstick costs €33 ). 

Shade: 964 Ambitious Matte
Finish: Matte
Coverage: Full
Price: US $37 / EU €38
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#3 KIKO Milano Smart Fusion Lipstick 

I am so in love with KIKO Milano. In a short time, KIKO grew to be one of the most popular budget/quality make-up brand. KIKO Milano has a big assortment, from skincare to nail polish…One of the products I love most is the KIKO Milano Smart Fusion Lipstick. I keep buying this lipstick over and over again because it’s simply amazing.
 
The Smart Fusion lipsticks are rich and nourishing for your lips and leaves a creamy finish (all – day – long)!
 
The lipstick I own is in the shade 434, which appears to be light brownish. If you’re looking for a high-quality budget lipstick, give this one a try!
 
Shade: 434
Finish: Bright 
Coverage: Medium
Price: US $6 / EU €3,95 / UK £3,90
 
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 #4 MAC Spirit Lipstick 

Of course, MAC couldn’t stay behind on my list of favorite lipsticks. To be honest, I only own 4 MAC lipsticks. But the MAC Spirit is one of my faves. This highly-pigmented lipstick has a satin finish and comes with a caramel kinda colour, which is a tiny bit darker than my natural lip colour. The lipstick seems matte but feels hydrating and soft on the lips.  It’s definitely worth checking out!
 
Shade:Spirit A86
Finish:Satin
Coverage:Medium- full 
Price: EU €19,50 / UK £16,50
 
 
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#5 Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte lip color 

This lipstick might not be as popular as the other lipsticks I mentioned, that’s because Lakmé is an Indian brand and it’s not available in all countries. However, I still want to give a short review because I adore this lipstick too much.
 
The lipstick I own is in the shade called “Hazel Rush”, which looks a lot like dark-brown. It comes with a matte finish and lasts around 12 hours. I really love the highly-pigmented colour and smooth application. If you ever see this brand, it’s worth checking out!
 
Shade: Hazel Rush
Finish: Matte
Coverage: Full 
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Price: EU €6,15 / UK £5,50 / IND ₹480.00 / $7,50

Lakmé online 


And these were my 5 favorite lipsticks, I hope you liked the post! What’s your favorite lipstick? Comment below! 

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Updated: review on Clinique brush

Hi guys, just wanted to let you all know I just updated my review on the Clinique cleansing brush because I ended up having some bad experiences with the brush, it started to malfunction and stopped charging etc.

I explained and described everything in the post and I’m writing about the new brush I bought, soo if you’re interested..

Click here to go to the review

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Review: Dior’s Hydralife BB cream

What product am I going to review?

Dior logo

Today I’ll be reviewing the Hydralife BB Cream by Dior. I got this BB Cream as a gift and it was actually one of my first makeup products ever. However, the shade I got didn’t entirely match my skintone which was a bummer because I really loved the qualities this BB cream brought along. As soon as I noticed that the BB cream was a bit too orange for my skin, I starting mixing it with a lighter foundation which eventually gave me the perfect look. My shade is called ‘Sunny Amber’ and it has SPF 30, which is what we should all be looking for in BB cream or foundation.

Coverage

Dior’s Hydralife Beauty Balm is focused on protecting and hydrating the skin. If you’re looking for medium or full coverage, this might not be your best choice. This BB cream is suited for all skin types and available in many shades, so make sure you’ve got the right one (very important!).

Dior’s Hydralife BB cream comes in a grey/blue-ish tube (50 ml) . The shade is indicated on the front of the tube. The tube is quite small and tall, which makes it perfect for traveling. The BB cream itself does feel a little heavy on my face, I can definitely feel that I’m wearing something which isn’t really what one would expect from a BB cream.

What did it cost me? + Where can you buy it?

I didn’t buy this BB cream myself, I got it as a gift. You can buy it online on Sephora, Dior and Amazon. The average pricing would be around $56 (€54), which in my opinion is a bit too expensive. This is why I never bothered to buy the BB cream myself in another shade, it’s just not worth it in my opinion.

Conclusion:

Personally, not a fan. But then again, this might also be because I never used the shade I needed…Bear in mind that this is a BB cream and it will not give you much coverage; instead, it will help even out and smoothen your skin tone. In my experience the BB cream felt heavier than I expected which is also one of the reasons I’m not a fan . However, the Dior BB cream does have SPF 30, which is a huge plus. Maybe you should see it as a tinted moisturizer with SPF? Eitherway, I’m not sure it would be a great investment. Looking for a more affordable BB cream? Check out my review on the Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream!

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