Monday, 27 July 2015

What i take on a hand luggage only trip!

Hello my lovely readers,
Yes i have been away again. No it was not for fun this time (though i enjoyed it) but for work. I had to fly the third time this year and for me as an anxious flyer it was difficult. However, i noticed that i have gotten considerably better in packing.  One of the difficulties i usually face when travelling for work is that i have to travel with hand luggage only. This means, the liquid allowance is very very low and it also means just one bag next to the handbag. So while i like to throw all my favourite products into the cosmetic bag when i travel to London (by train), i had to severely limit myself on my airplane trips.
The next thing limiting me is that i usually travel alone when i travel for work. I never know what is expecting me at my destination. Lots of stairs? Long way on foot? For that reason i do not pack to heavy either.
So over the last few trips i noticed that i have gotten quite good in optimising my make up and skin care to fit my travel needs and since i am not the only one facing this issue i thought i share it with you.
So what did i take to Lisbon? Let me start with the liquids. Yes all of this fits into the allowed size zip lock bag. Yes all of these things are allowed on an airplane (i tested 3 different countries and 4 different airports, so i am confident :)).

Oh lovely travel sizes. I have to say i always have a box of travel sizes for just this occasion and while they look so tiny, you would wonder how long those last. So the first things i packed was a shampoo (Hip) and a Conditioner. I know that this is usually available at the hotel but since i have problematic hair and a conference is really not the place to look like you just escaped from the jungle, i always pack my own. I actually was not a huge fan of those two but i have been really loving the mini sized John Frieda Frizz ease shampoo and conditioner which i really have to repurchase in travel size. 
The next item important for the unruly hair was the beauty protector hair oil. This photo was taken after i returned and i used it every day. Yet the bottle looks nearly untouched. This goes such a long way. A hair oil is really perfect to hydrate your hair after to much sun or to much airco air in conference venues and airplanes.
The next thing i need for my hair is the L'oreal elnett hair spray. This is my absolute favourite and a classic. I purchased this travel size in kruidvat but i have seen it also in boots and in dm.
Obviously since i headed to Lisbon, a good SPF was absolutly necessary. This one by La Roche Posay Anthelios is oil free and goes perfect under make up. In this case i also used it for the rest of my body to save space.
For foundation i took the L'oreal infallible 24h-Matte foundation. On foundation i do not compromise and this full size package fit very well into the zip lock bag. This foundation lasts on me all day even with sweating. To be sure i packed a mini size benefit porefessional. I honestly got 5 of these tiny tubes and they are perfect for travel.
If you have limited space, you go for combination products and therefore i packed the Manhattan wake up concealer (comparable with the Rimmel wake me up concealer). Normally i use a different concealer for eyes and blemishes but i chose here to pack one which works good for both (fyi: a cream concealer you can take outside of the liquid allowance but i do not really have one i really like). This one really brightens up my eye area and covers my blemishes and lasted all day long.
For my eyes i packed the Soap and Glory Supercat eye liner. This liner is amazing. I do not understand why there is not more buzz around it. It applies very evenly and easily, is super black and lasts on me all day even when i was bathing in sweat (ye i know to graphic).
Obviously i had to take Mascara and here i also went for a full size. I own a few travel size mascara but this L'oreal million lashes mascara is the one i trust to stay put all day long and when i am traveling i do not like to take risks, so space issues out of the window, the full size had to come.
If i am travelling with hand luggage only i remove my make up with face wipes (yes shame on me) since they do not count as liquids, however, since i double cleanse, i took a cleansing oil. With sun an all, i try to avoid to drying products during the summer, so i filled a bit of my superfacialist cleansing oil into this tiny container. This cleansing oil is amazing and leaves my skin clean, non greasy but hydrated.
For day and night creme i took this wonderful little samples of clairins day and night creme. You would thing those would not even last a day, yet, even though i applied them morning and evening for 4 days, they were not empty yet. Miracle tubes? Those did a great job at keeping my skin hydrated and plump during the trip. I just wish i could refill those.
Left only is the little perfume. This tiny samples are perfect for travel. I opted for Chloe love story.
I always pack also a hand lotion since i have chronically dry hands, and i love love love the almond scented one by L'occitane. I have to say i find this smell so calming that i find myself applying it on the plane just to take a whiff at it.
I also took the mango body butter from the bodyshop to counteract all the sun exposure.

Obviously this post would not be complete without the non liquid items i packed. As i said, i tried to optimise. So i took the Maybelline master sculpt which i have been loving recently. It is really worth the hype and a great little space saver sine it contains bronzer and highlighter. 
For blush i packed my NARS amour. I purchased this in rome and have been in love since. This is the perfect in between pink and peach colour and perfect for the summer. 
For eyes i packed the Yves Rocher eye shadow palette. I did not expect to fall in love with this as much as i did. It is perfect to create an over day look but can also be vamped up for the night. This shades are very buttery and very bendable. Honestly i even can apply those with my finger only. I packed brushes for the trip though. 
I packed the Bourjois healthy balance powder to set my make up. To be honest i do not think this needs introduction. Its a wonderful powder which controls shine without making my face look cakey.
For brows i packed the bourjois Sourcil brow pencil. This matches my brow color perfectly and takes no space.
Finally, lips: Lip sticks do not count as liquids so i could pack it outside of the zip lock. I love this Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in "bitch perfect" since it is just awesome for an over day business look. I always feel a tad bit more sophisticated wearing this. 
Under it i wear the Rimmel lip liner in "Eastend Snob". I also own the charlotte tilbury one in pillow talk but funnily enough i find myself loving the dupe more then the original. This is seriously long lasting and the colour is just perfect.
So all of this together for me makes the perfect set of beauty products to last for a week away. What do you like to pack when you travel with hand luggage only?

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Little Rome Sephora Haul

Hello my lovely readers,
For our third wedding anniversary my hubby whisked me away for a little weekend away in Rome. We had the most romantic little hotel and had a wonderful time with good food, great weather and sightseeing. Now i would not be me if i would not have spotted the Sephora directly next to the Spanish steps. 
Now the Sephora in Italy does not carry as much as the american one but for a Belgian, there is still quite some goodies to look at we cannot get. And there is of cause the sephora house brand. We were there by airplane and mainly there for a romantic weekend but the hubby understood a tiny bit of sephora shopping had to be done. 
So i thought i quickly share with you a mini haul.

We cannot buy NARS in Belgium and i had been lusting for a NARS blush for the longest time. After swooning over the orgasm and the deep throat blushes i went in the end surprisingly for the "Amour" one. A beautiful middle between pinkish and peachy blush. I have been absolutly adoring this. I will for sure review this further.
The next item i wanted to give a whirl was the Sephora cream lip stain. I went for a matte pink called pink souffle. The internet did not promise too much. This stain is seriously long lasting while not being drying. I am sad i did not pick up more colours.
I really wanted to try a few more sephora house brand things since i heard great stuff about them. So i packed the micellar water which is a recommendation by Fleur de Force. I just used it a few times so far but it seems to be a really decent one.
Since summer hit i have been in love with the scent of mango. So i could not resist this cute little hand balm by Sephora in a mango scent and this mango shower gel and bubble bath also by sephora. I love the packaging on both products by the way. 
Then at the cash register i could not resist a good face mask. I have not tried this yet so i will keep you updated on this. 
I really love my little purchases.
My favourites have to be the Nars blush and the mango hand lotion. 
Have you done any holiday shopping?

Monday, 22 June 2015

London picture post

Hello my lovely readers,
I know it has been quiet around here. Work has gotten crazy and i get barely time to breathe. However, whenever i feel like its getting all too much i love to escape to my favourite city: London. As contradictory as that may sounds, the buisiness of this city revives me. In London, it is never boring. Around the next corner, there is the next performance or wonder waiting for you to sweep you off your feet. 
I have been living for quite a while in another country by now and while i love Belgium, i never quite can shake the feeling of just not really being a part of it. The weird part is that i start to feel similar in Germany. I have been away to long. I do not quite fit in anymore. When i am in London, i feel like i fit right in. London is such a multicultural city. If you sit in the tube, you will have a hard time to find two people looking or dressing alike. I love it.
You will also have a hard time to ever get bored in London. No matter how often you have been there, there is always way to much going on to even see it all.
But well i am rambling. When work stress gets the better of me i just love to check my phone for the last London pics. Today it struck me that maybe there is some more people which love to look at pictures of London. So here you go. For the beauty purists under you. You will recognise some beauty temples and shopping pilgrim pathes and also a true beauty blogger celebrity. So i think that justifies this post on a beauty blog ;). Now lean back and prepare for loads of photos.

Regent street. Second only to oxford street when it comes to shopping for me.

My temple. Selfridges. I could spend days in their beauty hall.
Look who i met. Yes this is Anna from Vivianna does make up. She was doing a live tutorial in the beauty hall at Selfridges. She is such a lovely person and after approving of my beauty shopping bag contents and letting me swatch her charlotte tilbury collection she promised she will come to Belgium some time. Please do Anna :)!.

The new Lush flagship store. If you ever thought you have seen all there is to see from Lush, think again. There is a huge amount of products not available anywhere else and the displays are gorgeous. I left with two big bags, feeling a little guilty continuously smelling my bag again. A behaviour i call "the Lush effect". I tell you they put something in this stuff which numbs your brain. I have about 15 bath bombs at home but i definitely needed 10 more since i take so many bath during the summer. Ah well: Je ne regret rien.

 Need a good lunch while shopping? Go try ping pong. Dim Sum to die for. It is close to Oxford street and perfect for quick lunch. You get to order a variety of different dim sum in their cosy corner shop. While everybody seems to be talking about it (it was even mentioned in the on board magazine of the Eurostar) its still all comfy cozy and surprisingly calm.
Hamleys. For the kid in you. A wonderful store for any toy you can possibly imagine.

I went to OXO tower on this visit. I can really recommend it. Situated close to Tate Modern at the river of the Thames, it offers a wonderful view of London and amazing food.  I tried the Alice in Wonderland experience which was amazing. Careful though, if you do not want to get drunk in the middle of the day, ask them for the alcohol free version of at least some of the drinks (i didn't know this and it took me all i had to keep it together and walk elegantly out of the restaurant without bumping into someone)

 London museum. Wonderful to escape the craziness of the british museum ( do not miss out on that one either though). The history of London in a wonderful exhibition starting from the stone age and ending up in the year 2000. I loved this dresses from the begin of the previous century.

This elevator used to be in Selfridges. What an experience it must have been. Its now exhibited in the London museum.

Picadilly circus of cause.

The food halls of Harrods. Oooh god. Perfect for picking up some treats after dinner. But i promise you, you will have a hard time to choose.

Sushi! 'Nough said!

London is pretty even during crappy weather.

Good weather is not to bad either though. These are the gates to Buckingham palace by the way.

The Tate modern. A beautiful museum but you have to bring some time.

So these are my photos. I hope you enjoyed a bit with me. I will be back to London in October and already my list of things to do is full :)

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A long overdue London Haul post

Dear Lovely readers,
I know its been quiet around here but workload has gotten crazy. However, this London haul pictures have been rotting away way to long so i thought i share them with you.

So my first stop was obviously Boots and while i focused last time i was in London mainly on makeup i had been really looking forward to get my hands on some skin care. I had a list of a few brands i heard so many great things of on various British blogs which i was dieing to try. A detailed review of those is still going to follow so let me just get over them quickly. I picked up two night cremes: The No7 beautiful Skin Night cream for oily skin and the Superfacialist by Ùna Brennan rose  hydrate peaceful skin night cream. I have normal to combination skin and find night cremes often to rich, leaving my skin oily, so i was thrilled to pick those two up which promised to give my skin the hydration without the oily film. The Superfacialist rose cream was recommended by "A model recommends" and the No7 one i got because i heard great things about No7 making decent affordable skin care (also i had a coupon ;) ).
The next thing i picked up was several masks: The tea tree and witch hazel charcoal mask, The fab pore by Soap and Glory (because Soap and Glory!!!), The good things manuka honey radiance face mask (brand recommended by Caroline Hirons). I have to admit i am a bit addicted to masks at the moment. They are my favourite summer time pamper treat.
 Next i picked up the the Neutrogena blackhead eliminating daily scrub. I just love Neutrogena and was fighting a break out at the time of purchase. The break out has since then vanished completely. Not sure if this was the only product which did the trick but it made my skin feels very clean without irritating so i think it definitely played its part.
Next there had to be some beauty bits. I really wanted to get into contouring and i heard that the Barry M chisel cheeks contour kit is a good dupe for the Anastasia beverly hills contour kit. So i am exited to play with this. 
After hearing so many british beauty bloggers rave on about the Barry M nail polishes for being such a good quality at an affordable price i could not walk past them. I especially was interested in the Speedy Quick dry polishes (i have zero patience for nail drying) and the daylight curing summer collection which promises to be chip resistant like gel polish while being removable like a normal nail polish. Given that i work in a lab and put my nails under a lot of strain. That sounds amazing.

Further i still picked up  few bits and bobs. I bought a second Sleek palette. I really liked the selection of nude colours in the au natural palette and i am exited to play with it. 
I also picked up one of the eyes uncovered palettes everybody has been raving about. After Fleur de Force showed so many great looks with the nude grey version and for the price of 4,99 pounds i had to have it. 
I also bought a No7 lipstick and Revlon colour crush lip butter. The second one i already used a lot. Perfect marriage between moisturising and colour pay off for a everyday "my lips but better" look. I also picked up this BB cream by Rimmel. I love that this comes actually close to my skin tone and with SPF 20 its perfect for lunch breaks outside.

When i was in Selfridges i could not walk past the Charlotte Tilbury stand. I had been oogling the Lip cheat in pillow talk and the Lipstick in Bitch perfect for the longest time and now they are finally mine. I wore this combination for the rest of my London visit and i am in love with it. Since then i have been saving them a bit for special occasions but the love remains un-dimished.
In Harrods finally i picked up this travel size origins drink up intensive mask. This smells beautifully like mango. I took a travel size since at this price ticket i wanted to make sure that i have no adverse skin reactions to this. Rest assured i don't and i will go for the full size next time.
I also bought some clothing and some souvenirs and i came back with way to much bags but i did just want to make a post, not write a book over my haul ;).
So is there anything i missed out on? What is on your wish list for London. I am going back in november and you can never start the shopping list to early right? ;).
Rest assured i am super happy with all of my purchases and have been indulging in them since. 
If you would like a review of any of these items, do not hesitate to ask. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Pixi beauty in London

Hello my lovely readers,
It has been crazy busy times. I just returned from London and i thought i share this little experience and products with you. While in London i could not skip on visiting the Pixi beauty store. This products are available online in Belgium but i always loved to first test a product before i buy. So close to liberty in a side street of regent street i found the little shop. I appologize for the bad picture quality since i took them with my phone but what a lovely little store it is. All the products are beautyfully presented. I tested a few products and also swatched some make up products and i can tell you that they were all amazing. I would have loved to take home everything but seeing my rather extensive shopping list, i limited myself to two beautieful skin care products i heard so much about.
The first one is the much spoken about pixi glow tonic. It is a wonderful astringent toner with 5% salicylic acid, aloe vera and ginseng. I was worried about my sensitive skin but i had no problems whatsover to use this. I put it on a cotton pad and wipe it all over my face. The lady in the shop advised that when you have very sensitive skin, you could aslo choose to start of with using it every second day and then slowly increase the treatments. However, since i did not notice any problems, i use this twice daily. It leaves a delightful litte sting on my skin which really does not feel uncomfortable. Not only does it leave my skin feeling refreshed, cleaner and radiant i also adore the scent.
When i tried the glow tonic in store, the sales assistant applied some of their glow mist above it and i could not pass on this one. It makes the skin very very soft and is good for any skin type. According to the sales lady, it can even be applied over make up, i did not try that though yet, though i will be sure to try this out. 
Both products smell amazing and i feel a real effect on my skin. The shopping experience was wonderful. The sale staff was very friendly and helpful without beeing pushy (something i love when shopping). I left with a little bag with my two products and quite some samples and a smile. I will for sure order some things online but i will make sure to return to this little gem of a shop.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Little cologne haul

 Hello my lovely readers,
I know its been quiet arround here for a while but it has been crazy busy. I have a fair amount of travelling to do for work and am spending crazy hours at work. On the plus side, there is a little Berlin trip report coming up. But well i promised a little Cologne haul first so here we go. I focused mainly on purchasing items which are not as readily available in Belgium. I usually try to buy nearly all my drugstore make up at Germany because it is so much cheaper but since i had went recently, i was fine on the basic products and could just focus on some little extras. So first stop was obviously DM (see cologne shopping guide) where i bought this cute little tweezers for the handbag. Aren't they adorable? I also bought a mascara by Manhattan. As i told before, Manhattan is owned by the same company as Rimmel and a lot of their products are fairly similar while Manhanttan is a lot cheaper. I tried it by now and its good but not as great as my L'oreal million lashes mascara. It is however last very long and gives me a fair amount of volume. I also got my hands on a Maxfactor Creme puff blush. Those have been just in Germany since the end of March, so i was exited to get my hands on it. They had a selection of 4 colours and i chose "seductive pink" This one applies a wonderful natural peachy colour to my cheeks and i have used it a lot since the purchase. It is also supposedly a dupe to the hourglass baked blushes which i cannot comment on since i do not own those. But i can tell you that these are pretty amazing. I since then purchased another colour in Belgium (they have different ones there) and there will come a full blog review with swatches soon.
Next stop was the Kiko store. I love this affordable, yet high quality brand. I in the end purchased the eye base primer and the single eye shadow. I always need a primer for my eyeshadows and this one does the job. I yet have to find my holy grail one though. The single eye shadow is quite nice too but not to highly pigmented. You can see the swatch below next to the reddish NYX eyeshadow stick.
Which brings me to Douglas. I did not know that Douglas carrys NYX which i have so far not seen in Belgium. So i had to give it a shot and bought a creme eyeshadow stick and a mini nude palette. I have to say for the price those work very well. The little palette is again not super pigmented but work great for doing a rather neutral eye.

Which brings me to Douglas. I did not know that Douglas carrys NYX which i have so far not seen in Belgium. So i had to give it a shot and bought a creme eyeshadow stick and a mini nude palette. I have to say for the price those work very well. The little palette is again not super pigmented but work great for doing a rather neutral eye.

Since this little haul i have been holding back with make up purchases since the hubby has to attend a conference in London end of this month (and guess who gets to join).  I hope you enjoyed this little haul.
And ups i nearly forgot this Kiehls daytime moisturiser for combination skin. You can find Kiehls in the Galeria Kaufhof department store. This moisturiser is perfect for this days of oily skin since it is incredibly lightweight. I have to say though that i mix it up with a heavier moisturiser for days where my skin feels a bit more dry.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Shopping in Cologne / shopping tips for Germany

Hello my lovelies,
As some of you may know, i am not a true Belgian. I was born and grew up in Germany and moved to Belgium for university and my now hubby. I really love Belgium but sometimes i do miss the country i grew up in and most important my family. So, while a busy life and work keep me from returning often, i try to go atleast a few times per year. Especially once per year, me and my sister meet for a day just for us. Then we can catch up and talk about things, just sisters can talk about.

So while i recently enjoyed one of these days in Cologne (the city my sister lives in), we did quite some credit card damage and went shopping. Cologne is a great place to shop since it offers something for any taste or wallet. Beside the numerous special little stores which you just will have to discover on your own, i have a few stores, i always have to stop at to fuel my beauty addiction.  I work together with quite a few expats, so i have been asked numerous times to give them a mini shopping guide when they went off to Germany. And well i thought, why not share this with you. Quite some of the shops i describe here you can find also in other german cities, so this tipps can be used for really any German city you like to visit.

When you arrive in Cologne by train (or at the airport and then take the train), you arrive at the center of the cologne at the foot of the Dome. This building is incredible. I can just recommend to make a stop here because it will blow your mind. The dome is said to contain the bones of the three magi but is by itself alread a miracle of a building.
If you go from the station, up the stairs and arround the dome you will be heading towards the Hohe strasse. When i arrive by train i like to make a quick stop at the bakery Merzenich. In Germany, bakeries are often places where you can sit down, have a breakfast and coffee or enjoy a delicious piece of cake. They are also very affordable. My husband has become addicted to those.
In the Hohe strasse you will find all the well known stores you can think off. Beautywise, this is where you find DM, Kiko, Douglas, Lush and Galeria Kaufhof. But okay, if you are not german, some of those might not mean anything to you.
I will skip Lush and Kiko since i think you all know and love those. Lush is by the way in Germany less expensive then Belgium but pricier then England. Kiko is as cheap as everywhere and they have a great little store where you can test your way through their product lines.
But now to the specifics:

DM: DM is a drugstore. Think superdrug but the german version. I love love love DM. They have one of the best house brands ever. German beauty bloggers go regulary nuts over the DM housebrands like Balea, Alverde and P2. Those products are extremely good quality, good ingredients but with unbeatable prices. 
Obviously you will find also a lot of the known drugstore brands here like Max factor, L'oreal, Maybelline etc. With one big difference: They are partially a lot cheaper. Sometimes even a few euro difference. The most shockking example was for me the Essie nail polishes which cost 8 euro, while i pay in Belgium up to 14 euro.
One secret tip: Manhattan. I noticed that i could not find any Rimmel products in Germany. However, Manhattan had some products which were extremely alike to some of the famous Rimmel products. So when i googled the company, it turned out that they belong to the same mother company. They do not look exactly the same but the similarity is undeniable (check this link for a very good example). However, they come for a fraction of the price. E.g. i paid for my manhattan wake up concealer (cough* rimmel wake me up concealer*) 2,50 Euro. I tried quite some of their products by now and they are honestly exactly the same.
One last tip, before this turns into a DM only post: Give bebe beautycare a chance. This company used to produce products for babies. However, when those babies grew older and still loved their products, the released a bebe young care line, aimed at teenagers. Most recently, they released bebe more for the ones, not quite teenagers anymore. I grew up with this brand and i love love love the scent and its does amazing things for my skin. I have to by now, regulary bring some of this for people in Belgium. I heard DM will start a webshop soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
But okay, enough DM. Just go there, thank me later.

Douglas: Douglas is basically the German Space NK or Sephora. Here you can buy high end make up and perfums. Here you can find brands like Smash box, Jo Malone, Bobby Brown, Dior, Clarins, Laurah Mercier, Lancome, Clinique, Dermatologica etc. Here you also find Benefit and Soap and Glory (however, soap and glory is a bit pricier then in britain and its a limited collection (e.g. no make up). You will also find a Mac counter here. Usually there is always something going on in the store like free skin consultations, make overs etc. In cologne they also have a benefit brow bar in the Douglas.  The one in the station also has an impressive NYX display.

Galeria Kaufhof:
This is comparable to the Galeria Inno in Belgium, if you should be familiar with it.  Galeria Kaufhof is a department store. They sell clothing, homeware, delicatessen but also beauty and makeup. One thing i like to mention specifically about the one in Cologne is that they have a Kiehls counter with the most darling parisian expat. We ended up having a lovely chit chat about our favourite Parisian stores (he knew somebody who worked at Huygens). Like at all Kiehls counters, they are super helpfull and give great advice and let you test anything.

TKmaxx: I would be a liar if i would say that i like this store. I actually dislike it. Its usually way to full and very confusing. This store is jam packed with rest stocks of clothing. Nothing is sorted and most of it is not my taste. I guess if you have infinite patitience you could find some great offers here but it is not for me. However, the reason i am coming here is the beauty corner. Not only are there often some great deals, but also some brands i cant get anywhere else. You will have to search yourselve through a pile of bottles but i found here the most darling little french soaps and some bath milk from The scottish soap company which i had never seen outside britain. I also found here already Philosophy, Tigi bed hair, ciate etc.

Deichmann: Yes i know, this is not a beauty store but i cannot possibly leave that one out. This is a shoe store. Better to say, this is THE shoe store. Even my hubby which is usually pretty posh when it comes to clothing, fell in love with this affordable shoe store. You will find cheap and less cheap shoes here, but all of them are good value for money. I spend in my life a considerable amount of money on brand shoes and i can tell you that the Deichmann shoes are up there with many of them. Very comfy and durable and with a great variety of styles. I usually walk out with 3-4 new pair of shoes (tip: their ballerinas are the most comfy shoes ever).

As i said, you will find pretty much all the big stores here like Primark, Esprit, H&M, Lush, Kiko etc. But you know those, so i stuck to the ones which non germans might not be familiar with (exclude Douglas for my dutch readers ;) )
I hope you enjoyed this little guide for a quick beauty shopping trip in Cologne. If you have any more questions regarding shopping in Germany, shoot away. Also if you should be interested in a sightseeing or food guide for Aachen, Cologne, Duesseldorf etc. Let me know.
And in case you wonder what i all bought in Cologne: Well way to much and not enough. But there will be a haul post up soon :).

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Brand Focus: La Roche-Posay

Hello lovelies,
Recently i noticed that slowly but surely, La Roche Posay has taken over the reign in my skin care cabinet. I have been loving this brand for a long time and thought it might be fun to introduce you to my brand favourites.
La Roche Posay is named after a village in France, named, you might guess it, La Roche Posay. Not only has La Roche Posay a source of thermal water but also a record of treating people and their skin care issues with said water. In 1975 then the laboratoire pharmaceutiques la roche posay which was and remains a pharmaceutic company producing skincare for the pharmaceutical market was founded mainly producing prescription skin products. In 2010 it was renamed to Laboratoire dermatologique La Roche Posay. Over the years La Roche Posay started to cater more and more to the general skin care market along with pharmaceutical products becoming in general more popular.
I think what i really like about La Roche Posay is that they have put their research in and i can find a product pretty much for every specific skin issue. It does not matter if you have dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, acne prone or redness prone skin, La Roche Posay has pretty much an answer to everything. This allows me to compose my own individual skin care regime with the brand i know my skin handles very well. So far i have not been disappointed by any product. Yet i have some clear favourites:

1) Effaclar Duo anti imperfections aka the life saver: This product has been raved about on blogs. However, this was one of the few occasions where i seem to have been ahead of the trend. I have been using this for a long while and it is amazing. Whenever i feel spot coming up i will add this on top and usually i really notice the effect within a few hours. After a few days, the spot will just vanish without really ever becoming clearly visible. This stuff is amazing and i cannot be without it anymore. I never travel anywhere without this.

2) Serozinc: I guess this qualifies as a toner but is pretty much only a Zinc sulfate solution. No tonnes of additives, just watered down zinc sulfate. You could even use this on a baby. It calms down the skin, combating redness and spots and is oh so refreshing. This stuff wakes me up in the morning and refreshes me in the evening. This would be even okay on injured or inflamed skin.

3)La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat. I have times in the year where my combination skin turns into a full on oily disaster and then this is my saviour. This moisturiser hydrates my skin while actively reducing sego production. Even when i once had a red patch on my skin (allergic reaction i guess) and i could barely use anything without feeling like my face was on fire, this i could still use without any issues.  Really great recommendation for those of us with too much glow but still sensitive skin ;).

4)Effaclar astringent toner. I started to use an astringent toner with salicylic acid after reading up on it on the website of Caroline Hirons (aka Lady Hirons, skin care goddess). Unfortunately a lot of the Hirons approved favourites are hard to get a hand on in Belgium but this toner does a pretty good job too. I use it after cleansing and before the serozinc.

5) Redermic C eye cream. You are looking for an affordable eye lotion for sensitive eyes? Give this a shot. I was reacting on everything from from drugstore to high end. I was already about to give up when asked my pharmacist and she gave me a good bunch of samples to try my way through. Even a good bit of the pharmacy eye cremes for sensitive skin made my eyes burn, beside, obviously La Roche Posay. This one contains Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C which helps even out the skin. It also brightens up the skin slightly giving a more awake look. They have those for dry and for combination skin and with and without UV filter. I doubt after the nightmare of allergic reactions around my eyes, that i will ever use another one anymore.

I have also tried several other products from la Roche Posay but those have been my firm favourites and i have repurchased them several times. The best part, these are pretty much available for drugstore prices. Granted its the higher end of the drugstore prices but its great quality for money. Have you used La Roche Posay in the past? What is your favourite? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

When Science and Beauty collide

I am a scientist and a beautylover. One thing inherent to my job as a cell biologist is that i take rarely anybody's word for it when it comes to science. I want to see scientific evidence and reasoning best in a peer reviewed journal, or at the very least an argumentation with a good scientific foundation. 

Scientists have a tendency to communicate more with each other than with the general public. Most scientific evidence which makes it to the public does so because non science journalists took interest in it. However, their articles sometimes deform the truth. News and company reps do not want to tell you very specific compound xy in this very specific form showed a 10% increase in effect on 68% of rats. No they want to say: Compound xy will kill you or scientists say compound z is the new fountain of youth. And in all honesty it is what we all, including me want to hear, no? We want to hear what to get and what to avoid. We don't want to get gigantic maybes.

However, i do believe that when we get asked to spend our hard earned cash on products which either contain certain compounds or go to  a great length to omit others, we should all know about what kind of gigantic maybes are associated with the claims.

Now there is enough self proclaimed experts out there in the beauty world and some are great and do their research with decent resources and others are basically making it up as they go and try to push their own product lines. I do not want to claim that i am an expert in any capacity. I am a cell biologist but i am not working in dermatology or with human nutrition, so all i can do is show my opinion and some great resources so you can form your own opinion.

So i thought in this article, i give a few topics which caught my interest and link some nice articles to read on the subject which in my opinion are written by people which have done their research and know what they are talking about:

1) Detoxing of the skin

I look into cells for a living and my sister who is in the medical profession looks into whole humans and we both have yet to find all this toxins companies claim we have in us. Now obviously we are exposed to some toxins during our live.
Some we expose ourselves too like alcohol and nicotine and others we are exposed to by our environment like engines exhaust and heavy metals and chemicals in food or drinks. However, those do not end up in our skin but in kidneys and liver where no face cream will ever reach them.
What are not toxins is dirt on our skin or oils produced by ourselves. Yet this is surprisingly how some popular skin care producers seem to define toxins. What i dislike about this use of the word "toxin" is that it suggests that when we do not use such products is that our skin remains full of toxins, which are damaging to us and that we need to spend a good amount of money for specialised products to protect us from those "toxins" when all we need is simply a product which cleans. I don't know what you do at home but i clean and do not detox my floor. Same goes for skin. So i when i invest into a good skin care product, detox is not what i will pay extra cash for.
I link here a PDF from a great website where young scientist actually contacted the companies which produce some well known products and asked for scientific evidence. The answers you find in this PDF:

and i can also not skip to link this post by fellow blogger and scientist Esmeralda from "Science is so sexy" which explains it in great detail and better than i ever could how much there is to detoxing.

2) Detox foods

If you clicked the link to Esmeraldas website you will also have read about detoxing through foods. So now here the subject lays a bit more complicated. There has been in fact some very specific diets which have shown some evidence that they could have an effect on getting rid of certain chemicals in our body. However, none of them were just a particular smoothie or algae or vitamin pills. The diets which were described as maybe having an effect (and none of that was to the extend that it was called scientifically conclusive) were including huge lifestyle and nutrition changes. 
As i described above there are some toxins we do deal with, however, normally our organs take perfectly care of that for us. They do not need to be boosted nor can they be that easily boosted. The best "boost" for your organs is a healthy lifestyle. This means a balanced diet and sport, not specific pills or smoothies. Saying that, smoothies are delicious so no harm in drinking them. Just i would not spend a lot of money for special detox ones cause chances are you are paying way to much money for what is essentially just a snack.
Here you find an opinion piece by a reputable researcher on the matter.

3) Vitamines and antioxidants

So in the same line of thinking, we all get told to take vitamins to get a better skin, stronger hair etc. If it is not in form of pills then it is in the form of so called super foods. Now i would have loved to believe that. I have thin hair and skin which is pale and blemish prone. Unfortunately (and this actually does touch my research) we all have a maximum of vitamins we can utilise and certain ones even become dangerous to us when we ingest to much of them (e.g. vitamin A, D, E etc.). 
Now vitamin pills can be useful for certain people which have a deficiency which can not be countered with healthy eating. For that it is a great idea to see a health care professional, get your blood taken and check for deficiencies. 
I for example suffer from zinc and vitamin D deficiency which can lead to brittle hair and bones and worst case, extremely low vitamin D levels have even been associated with occurrence of cancer. So i am taking some pills and my hair has indeed become better. However, i am still waiting for that lucious mane.  The thing is, somebody with a regular level of zinc will experience absolutely no effect from taking extra zinc. Imagine your vitamin levels like little containers. Once they are full, they are full and everything you add will just end up going to waste or goes out and does bad things. This containers are surprisingly small and healthy eating and living will keep them in healthy people more then full enough. Unfortunately about our hair and skin is defined by our genetic makeup and no amount of vitamin pills will change that. Quite the opposite, stuffing yourself with vitamins and antioxidants (often antioxidants are vitamins) can effectively damage your health. Here is a scientific study conducted on the effect of supplements of antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin D on health.

Bottom line is that vitamin pills, in my opinion should be used only when your doctor advises them due to a deficiency.
By the way, a lot of the vitamin pills you can purchase in the health food isle are not even in a form which can be taken up.  So rather save your money and buy a nice bunch of veggies.

4) Hair Repair and making your hair grow faster

Okay let me start by getting disgusting. Hair is dead waste material pushed out of your body to keep you warm.  It is made mostly of keratin and a few lipids. Okay with that mental picture lets move on to what that implies. The following claims of shampoos can not possibly be true:
- it provides nutrient to your hair
- it goes into the core of your hair and regenerates it
- it detoxes your hair
- it suffocates your hair
I cannot feed, suffocate or regenerate my hair more then i can feed, suffocate or regenerate my furniture. It does not need vitamins or nutrients because it is not a living material. And as much as i can not let my couch table regenerate the scratch my cat left in it, i can not regenerate broken or thin hair.
One more thing it can not do is make your hair grow faster. Your hair grows at a pace determined by your hormones and other cell biological processes happening inside your scalp and body. Unless you inject your shampoo into your blood, it won't change your hair from the get go.
What shampoo can do is to protect your hair against damages and can keep it to some extend from getting dry and brittle. The lack of damage and breaking might give you the feeling that your hair grows faster or thicker. It can also keep your scalp healthy and prevent that your inflamed scalp stops hair production or sheds the hair.
And thats also where the bad news start. If your genes say thin and few hair, then no amount of products will change that. You can use shampoo and masks and conditioners to keep it from breaking but it won't become thicker or even more hair then what your genes allow. If that would be possible, all rich people would have lucious manes.
Good news is that with good styling and good hair care we can cheat quite a bit. However, me as a somebody who really envies people with beautiful hair get nearly a bit angry when i see youtube guides to long lucious and full hair by people which are obviously born with long lucious and full hair suggesting that any form of routine could lead to me having what they have. 
Obviously there are diseases and deficiencies which can lead to thin brittle hair and hair loss in which case you should see a general practitioner, however, none of them is fixed by shampoo.

While i did not find any science based article on this subject, i will link here a nice article by Esmeralda about your shampoos ingredients which is well worth a read.

I could go on but i do not want to kill you all with a wall of text. If you would like to read more of this type of articles. Let me know in the comments. You disagree with me, please let me know. I always love to learn and get my opinion challenged. 
If you have any suggestions which topics would deserve some scientific background check. Please let me know also in the comments.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

My spring makeup additions

Seeing the first rays of spring sun makes me incredibly happy. Done are the days of standing in the morning at the train station in the dark and freezing cold. And even though it is not fully spring yet, i felt updating my makeup will maybe make it feel like it is already here. Another change which came with the slightly warmer weather again is that i also bike from the station to my work, so i also wanted to make sure that my make up will stand the physical activity glow. Now some of this products might look less spring for some people but i find that anything to light pink will just wash my face out, so i am foregoing that trend entirely.
But enough gibber gabber and lets get to the products which have put the joy of spring into my step and face .
I have been loving the L'oreal BB creme "skin perfection". I use their serum and since it did wonders for my skin, i thought i give this a shot and i very much like it. It gives just the right amount of coverage and lasts a fair amount of time even with all the biking. I use the famous garnier one before but found that it was to fatty for my skin. Along with the BB creme i use a powder and i purchased finally the Bourjois healthy balance powder. This feels very light weight and in combination with the BB creme gives me a very even but still natural teint.
On days that i feel particulary dull i love to add a bit of the bodyshop radiant highlighter under the BB creme. It won't turn you into a disco ball but leaves a subtle radiance that can be build up. Perfect for a spring fresh face.

Ooh blushes, how love them. As i said i am not going all pinky pink because it will make me look like i have fever with my pale skin and dark hair. But i have been loving this two blushes recently for the right amount of healthy colour. This is the kiko mosaic blush (isn't it gorgeous) in inspiration rose coral from their generation next series. I have used this blusher a fair amount of time and as you can see the mosaic stays intact. The other beauty is from one of my favourite brands. The Balm. The Balm for me combines the fun and quality of Benefit with a lower price tag. Its not quite budget but i think i paid about 17 euro for this blush which i find reasonable. This is their Fratboy blush and it comes in a cute cardboard packaging. It also has a cardboard envelope so it is fit for travel though i would not pop it permenantly into my handbag. This one is to be dosed carefully since the colour pay off is amazing. But with my Real Techniques blusher brush it glides on perfectly. Seriously if you never tried a The Balm blusher, get out there and pick one up. You can thank me later.

 So the last products i wanted to show you are my three favourite spring lipsticks. Now as i mentioned those might be a bit dark for some but to me they are perfect for my complexion now in the spring where i leave my beloved reds behind for a bit.
The Rimmel Provocalips finally have hit Belgian Drugstores and i was super exited to pick up this colour "I'll call you". I had brought "Play with fire" (a strong red) from London and it carried me over every christmas party and market. This one does not last quite as long but still longer then any other lipstick i ever had and the colour is drop dead gorgeous. The second one is the Mac lipstick in Plumful. I just love the colour and looks very natural on me but still gives me the bump of colour i need. The third one is a new love i purchased on my birthday weekend in Bruge. It is the clarins instant light lip perfector. The only negative thing i can say about this is that its not a lot of product but that might also be me overusing it. It smells gorgeous (somehow like waffels and sirup) and it moisturises my lips and makes them look plumb and full. This can handle the comparison with a decent lip balm any day but still gives me some colour. I also sometimes apply it over another lipstick (e.g the Rimmel provocalips) and it mixes gorgeously.

So this were my spring make up additions. Just looking at them makes me happy. I also have covered my house in fresh tulips and narcisses. I love to buy the potted ones and see them bloom within a day. What are your make up spring additions? What puts you into a spring mood? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, 16 February 2015

5 products i discovered via a beautybox

Hello my lovely readers,
I think many of us have or had at some point in their life a subscription to a beauty box. There is just something to it to get a little beauty suprise package each month delivered to your home with all shiny new products to test. So i myself have a subscription to the german glossy box (it does not exist in Belgium so i get it delivered to my parents and pick it up when i visit), and the french birch box (they deliver to Belgium now).
One thing i noticed after having this subscription for a while is that a tonne of the products and brands are not only new to me. They seem to be in fact new to everyone who is not a subscriber. Even when i google the products i usually just find reviews from other people with a box subscription. So far no problem since it is great to try out really new products. However, this products seem to be also partly not even available for buying in a shop but needs to be ordered in an intricate way, or in the case of glossybox sometimes i simply cant buy the product. Long story short, i often use up the products and then forget about them again. However there is a few products, which were actually so great that i have fallen in love with them and ended up tracking them down and ordering them. So i thought i introduce you to this beauties.
1) The Love me green organic face peeling. This was such a lovely little product. It is made of organic ingredients, produced in france and gives you the most refreshing mild exfoliation ever while smelling gorgeous. My sensitive skin reacts bad to quite some exfoliators but this one gave me no trouble whatsoever.
2)The Nika K blusher. This packaging is so cute. I really started to appreciate this powder. Inside you find a sponge through which the powder is applied onto your skin. However, i usually remove the sponge and pick up some powder with a brush since the sponge gives a very uneven application. The colour however is gorgeous and it lasts all day on my cheeks. I have no idea how to repurchase this safe via the birch box site itself but its very decent size makes sure i won't have to too soon ;).
3)The Huygens Verveine body lotion. This product was a funny story for me. I first did not like the scent at all. It smelled quite minty and somehow reminded me of a fresh package of chewing gum scent wise. However, i hate wasting things and i liked the idea that it was handmade from all natural ingredients, so i applied it anyway. And wow! This product felt to amazing on my skin. It gave me a slight cooling effect all over my body which helped me to relax and i swear i slept better with this bodylotion on. I have used it up till the last drop and i already reorderd it. It is only available at the moment via birch box but if you find yourself in Paris you can visit their store and get your lotions and potions individually scented. I for sure will pay them a visit: . Something tells me this brand will still make its way in the beauty world.
4)A little cheat here since i know the body shop before and since i love honey i would have probably tried this anyway but this was my first ever body shop scrub and while i prefer the lush scrubs a tad more, i just love love love this scent.
5)The lollipop eyeliner in black. this is a super cute liner which confuses me. You can smudge it if you want, jet it never smudges on its own and that is very rare on my oily eyes. So well whatever this magic is, i love it. This comes also from a french company which offer a whole range of make up in cutesy packing. Think the balm with a french touch. I will for sure try some more make up of this range.

Saying all this. I noticed that for some reason my article had not been properly stored to the site so if you just got a short cut of this on your first visit, i apologise.

Do you have any beauty boxes? Was there anything you fell in love with from a beauty box that you would not have tried otherwise?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Kiko generation next: My first Kiko order

Hello my lovely readers,
Kiko is since a little while available in Belgium online and now for valentines day they offer free rushed delivery (still till the 28th of february so hurry if you want to use it). This was my first Kiko order but i had heard a lot of this brand before. Everybody is raving on about what good quality the Kiko products are and that at an afforable price.One thing about Kiko is that they do not sell in other stores but exclusively in their own Kiko stores and online which might have led to this brand beeing a bit under appreciated. However, good quality is the best advertisment so people are becoming more and more aware of this brand.

I am a huge fan of highlighter and blushes so when i heard that the generation next mosaic highlighter by Kiko is a pretty good dupe for the guerlain mosaic highlighter i just had to have it. I love the mosaic pattern in the pan.  It comes in a very beautiful layered box. The top is clear while the bottom layer is a colored metal giving the products a very elegant sleek look. The blusher comes in a similar packaging but is a bit smaller in size. You get a very respectable 12 g highlighter for 15 euro and about 5g blush for 12 euro. I actually really appreciate how sturdy the packaging it while it while the closing mechanism is easy to open. Perfect for travelling. 

 I did two types of swatches to make sure you get to see the product. I did not edit this photos since i wanted to make sure to stay tru to the colour experience. So you see on my first finger the highlighter which is not to glittery and a beautiful slightly golden tone. For the blusher i went for the Inspiration rose coral colour which is more of a darker peach colour without beeing to orange. I really love both products and they give a subtle finish. They blend very well and stay put for a long time. The pattern you see in the pan stays even after several applications.

 I would recommend this products for a more sophisticated look. They are perfect for every day but can also be layered up for an evening.
Have you tried anything from Kiko? How do you like their products?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Hide your flaws: The search for the perfect concealer

Hello my lovely readers,
Wow, two days in a row that i am not rushing from appointment to appointment. So i thought, lets get wild and write two posts in a row before the working world gobbles me up again on monday.
Society tells us to embrace our flaws and yes i am starting to come to terms with my big but, my complete lack of upper body strength and my incapability with numbers but when it comes to my face i scream a loud : "Yes please" when it comes to conceal my flaws (yes, i am reading this Amy Poehler book ;) ).
So well i have been on the look out for the perfect concealer which will cover my imperfections best on a "as long as i show my face in public" basis. That can mean anything between 2 and 16 hours. The second challenge for my concealers is  that i am about the colour of this background. Nah ya, not quite as bad but i was also surely not in the first row when they were handing out the melanin. So well let me introduce you to some of the contestants and how i rank them.

1) The Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in their lightest shade. I think this is one of this holy grail products which is still lacking any worthy contender. It is very affordable. Absolutely gets the job done and lasts forever on my skin and come in the perfect shade which is slightly lighter then my skin tone (the recommendable tone for any concealer). I have never seen a negative review on this one. Negative point. They do not sell it in Belgium or Germany or any other country i would be reaching on a monthly basis. So while i will stock up on this on my next London trip i try to use this little tube carefully.
2) The Maybelline Instant Anti-Age eraser for the eye area. A wonderful under the eye concealer with a slight highlighter function. The slightly yellowish tone perfectly conceals dark rings under the eye and the slight shimmer gives it a bit of a highlighter effect.. The sponge applicator gets the job wonderfully done. However, also due to this i would not use it on blemishes since it strikes me as unhygienic. This baby is available in Germany so i can stock up on it when i visit my peeps. I also use the lightest shade here.
3)The Maybelline Fit me concealer again in their lightest shade. I do own the powder from this range too and its a favourite of mine so when i saw this in the store i want to give it a shot. The second plus point for me was that it is liquid and comes with a doe foot applicator which are my favourites when it comes to concealer. This concealer is so far the closest thing i could find to the collection concealer. It goes very well with my skin tone. However, it is a bit thinner then the collection one and does not last quite as long. But for me it is the best alternate i can find in my reach.
4) the Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer. I picked this up not to long ago, when Rimmel products were on sale and i actually quite like this creme based concealer. It kind of looks like a lipstick and it comes again in very good very light colour. It is quite creamy and applies very well and it is a close contender to the Maybelline Fit me concealer. I like to have this in my handbag for touch ups since it blends very well.
5) The L'oréal true match touche magique in light beige. I saw recently that they sell this also in ivory beige, just i never seem to find it in my store. This is the concealer to the much loved true match foundation from L'oréal. It is not to bad and also liquid, so i guess thats good. I do not love the applicator. It comes with a brush which gets supplied with the liquid when you twist the bottom (of the pen, not your own). I always get either to much or to less on. The shade i have really does not match my skin though. But to be fair, i should probably try one day to get my hands on the lighter shade. However, i think i would still prefer the Maybelline Fit me concealer sipmly already due to the applicator and to texture.
6) The boi-ing concealer by Benefit
I know suprise, suprise since it is such a holy grail product for so many people. I just do not get on very well with this concealer. Beside the fact that it does not fit my skin colour very well, i do not like how it applies and it does not give me the coverage i need. To be honest i just have no use of light coverage concealer. If i put on concealer, then it is usually necessary. Everything which gets covered already by my BB cream is not really in need of concealer for me. I got it as a sample size which i am happy about. It however makes me wonder if maybe the packaging changed the consistency. Would love to hear some feed back from you guys.
7) The Maybelline cover stick. I am not sure if i was just never lucky enough to find a lighter colour but this colour is way to dark for me and the concealer does not apply very well. It is kind of draggy and i have to go several time over the blemish to get enough product off. It kind of does the job and is better then no concealer but well, not my favourite.
8) The So-Susan concealer quad Ye sorry but this product is really not for me. None of the offered colours even remotely matches my skin. The texture is very weird. I got it in a glossy box and i am happy i did not pay for it seperatly. I think this one will actually go towards trash. It is supposed to be priced at 22 euro which i find very steep for this quad. To be honest in general the So Susan stuff has been a bit of a hit and miss. I have a very nice blush from them and my sister has a mascara she likes, however, there have been near riots on glossybox already when they send out their products because people hated it. So well, form your own oppinion.

On my to try list for concealer is still definitley the Rimmel Wake me Up Concealer which i heard very mixed review about (Fleur de Force featured it on the worst of Rimmel while Amelia Liana has it under her favourites. Another one i really want to try is a Nars concealer cause i heard a lot of good things about it. What are your favourites?

Saturday, 7 February 2015

THE BODYSHOP: Smoky Poppy event

 Good morning my lovely readers,
It is finally weekend and we got wonderful sunshine here in Belgium. In other words perfect time to have a cup of tea and tell you all what i have been up to yesterday evening. Friday evening after work i went to the release of the new body shop line Smoky Poppy. No, no, i have not suddenly ascended into famous blogger land, this was an event open to all customers for which you could sign up per mail. In fact the bodyshop hosts these events several times per year and i think it is such a great idea to build customer relations. It is totally for free and you do not need to buy anything (although i always end up doing so ;) ).
 The staff in the Leuven Bodyshop is always very friendly but for an event such as this they really pull out all the stops. Not only did i get greated with fresh strawberry lemonade and a table of sweet and salty snacks, there was also possibilities to get your make up done with the new smoky poppy make up products, you could opt for a handmassage and obviously you could smell and test all the new products. To top it off, they also gave a 25% discount on their new line and a goodie bag worth 35 euro if you spend 30 euro. I enjoyed it greatly. I even got to talk to some other attendees about my favourite products (found a fellow honeymania lover). So yes, for me a perfect way to end a work week.

Obviously i also bought some goodies. Beside stocking up on some favourite and purchasing a few gifts i bought a small gift set of the new smoky poppy line which you can see in the title picture. The scent of this line is for sure a bit more mature and floral. I actually quite like the scent and the packaging is very nice and elegant. I bought just a small size for testing purposes and also because i might have to start soon building a second bathroom, just to stock my beauty products ;).
The goodie bag was a nice extra which i did not expect to much from since often such things contain  the rests of stock. But boy was i wrong. Not only was the goodie bag really cute, it also contained a gorgeous lipstick from the bodyshops colour crush line. It came in the colour 330 Spice things up which is a beautiful my lips but better shade with an elegant glow to it. I think what i love most about it, is how moisturising it is. It feels nearly like a lip balm but still has a decent colour pay off. I think it is a perfect daytime lipstick (swatch below). So well done bodyshop for getting me hooked on a new lipstick (i kind of want now more of those). 
I also recieved a mascara which i have yet to try and a small cocos body butter (can never go wrong with those). It also contained a small envelope with some poppy seeds for the garden. What a cute idea. So well i really enjoyed this small event and can just recommend them. If you are interested, keep your eyes peeled on their website or sign up for their emails.

This post is not sponsored. As i said the event was for free and open for all customers. The products were all purchased by me beside the goodie bag which was a special offer.