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Clinique and their DDMG

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Ever since I discovered moisturizers, I've been searching for one that is not only suitable for my skin type, but really does the job well.

From low budget to extra expensive, there a tons of brands you can choose from and it is, sometimes, a matter of personal preference.

Now, I am not really into high end skincare - to me, it means spending a ridiculous amount of money on something fancy and shiny that gets used up fast, but with the same benefits as something less expensive.

Bearing all this in mind, before going out to buy a new moisturizer, I spend a lot of time researching it. The ingredients list is very important to me so, if I read about a product on the internet and the ingredients are not listed, I tend to move on to another product. I can't stand having to spend more than 5 minutes in front of a shelf, reading the ingredients on the packaging and trying to decide whether they would be good or bad for my skin. And I feel particularly irritated when I am asked by a sales person if they can be of any assistance, especially if I don't ask for it ( don't you? ).

Gifts from friends and family do include skincare from time to time, mostly on the budget side, but I am happy to get them nevertheless. And these are the only exceptions to my rule, but that does not mean I don't test drive them for a while before giving them the thumbs up or throwing them out.

I spent a lot of time researching the Clinique skincare products: browsing their page, reading reviews on all kinds of websites, analyzing their ingredients lists. So two products caught my eye: the
Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer serum ( which I received a sample of when I was shopping for skincare ) and the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.

What's in it:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glycerin, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract/Extrait D’Orge, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Caffeine, Triethelose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sucrose, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Polysilicone-11, Silica, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Oleth-10, Lactobacillus Ferment, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Tromethamine, Disdoium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Yellow 5, Red 4, Yellow 6

As you can see, Dimethicone is second on the list - which may mean there's a lot of it. So, if you are allergic to this ingredient, skip this moisturizer.

Next, lots of antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients - I love the plant extracts and I find it funny to see there is cucumber in it as well. Cucumber has been used by my grandma for years!

Of course, there are various ingredients that are supposed to help prevent an allergic reaction to everything else, some ingredients that are classified as fragrances ( no, not the type that irritates your skin ), two preservatives and some ingredients that add a bit of color.

It is oil free, which is great for my already oily skin.

What it does:

Beside what Clinique claim it does - which I never read before buying a product - this is a good moisturizer.

And that is all it does: moisturizes the skin "on the verge of perfection".

I haven't head any allergic reactions to it - no flare-ups, no breakouts, no extra oiliness on my T zone. It has been a year since I started using it and it really did help keep my breakouts in check.

I love the fact that it is not a heavy cream. It feels soft, gets absorbed quickly and my face doesn't feel sticky at all.

Overall: a good investment and I do plan to get the full size bottle next - and test it on family members as well. :-D

Have you tried any of the products from Clinique's three-step?



DIY gentle exfoliation VICHY

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Thermal water is very good for all kinds of skin problems. From minor burns to irritation to blemishes to dehydration, it successfully helps treat all.

You can find several brands in your local pharmacy, all with the same benefits. The one I've been using for a while is the Vichy thermal water ( I always buy the jumbo size, because small ones run out fast ).

When you first spray the water onto your skin, you can feel your pores tighten and you get that overall calming effect on your irritated areas. It is enriched with minerals, that are beneficial for your skin.

The list of uses and application methods is long:

You can soak a cotton pad in it, then apply on your tired eyes - you'll feel refreshed and the puffiness will be reduced. Spray it on sunburns and they'll calm down.

Spray it on your face in the evening, after removing your makeup, instead of adding loads and loads of cream and you'll see an overall improvement the very next morning.

On to the DIY:

Do you get those little loose bits of skin sometimes, when your skin's just acting up? Well, I do. Mostly on my forehead, nose, cheeks and lips... well, pretty much all over my face, in small patches.

What I like to do: apply some of water on a cotton pad, then gently buff the areas with loose skin. "Gently" is the key word when it comes to exfoliation, so never scrub like you would your bathroom sink!

After removing the dead skin cells, spray a generous amount directly onto your face, let it sink in for 10 seconds, then take it off with a clean towel - patting gently.

This should do the job perfectly and soothe your skin after your little semi-facial.

Say "bye bye" to those nasty flakes!



Alverde liquid eyeshadows

Dear Roses and Lilies,

On a beauty quest to find eyeshadows that last and last without creasing and fading, I discovered liquid colors - so quick and easy to apply!

Not wanting to invest in something expensive that I might not like, from the multitude of liquid eyeshadows I could find ( two brands ), I chose the least expensive.

If you never heard of Alverde before it is because it's a drug store brand you can find in the dm-drogerie markt chain of retail stores, in some European countries.

The products are all made in Germany, so I am sure they undergo rigorous quality control before they hit the shelves.

Back to my eyeshadows...

These are metallic colors, good for party makeup rather than daytime makeup. I have #20 Metallic Turquoise and #30 Metallic Aubergine.

#30 and #20 in 2 layers

What I like about these eyeshadows:

The color payoff is amazing, even if you choose to apply one layer only.

This dark aubergine color is lovely and it works great on brown eyes. The look you get is full on drama!

Metallic Aubergine 30

The turquoise shade is very vivid and somewhat frosty. I think it works best as a liner or just as a highlighter, applied on the inner corners of your eyes.

Metallic Turquoise 20

The formula is non-drying and suitable for sensitive eyes as well. 

Application method - take the excess off the applicator on the back of your hand before applying the first layer and gently dab onto your eyelid. Close your eyes and let it set for 10 seconds, then build up gradually. Don't rub, or else it'll turn patchy.

Use a sponge or the applicator the eyeshadow comes with. I don't recommend using a brush or fingers to apply this product. It will come off on your fingers and dry really fast on your brush and the finish will be streaky.

It takes no more than a minute to finish your eye look and the shadow won't budge for 7-8 hours. No primer needed and super easy to remove, using your regular makeup remover.

Do you own any liquid eyeshadows worth raving about?