Skin Issues…

Here we are again…a new beauty post! This is not actually a beauty post as my skin right now is anything but beautiful but these miracle products help keep it under control, and being the honest bunny that I am, I wanted to keep you updated on the downsides of my pregnancy. I do agree that ‘downsides’ is a big word taking into consideration that I’ve been feeling great so far, but there is no other way of describing my not-so-cool face right now.

I am not among those lucky ones that get glowing, magnificent clear skin during pregnancy, quite on the opposite end, actually, meaning that my face is either oily and my chin is filled with zits – nightmare for my foundation, either it develops extremely (really!) dry patches around my mouth and nose and still has a few zits here and there to brag about – again, nightmare for my foundation. This did not really occur during the first trimester of the pregnancy, only maybe mildly, but it has gone wild the moment I started my forth month – right about the time I was trying to enjoy myself at Untold festival. Needless to say that I was in denial as I really loved my former beauty routine (read about it here) and I could not accept the fact that those beloved products that have done an ocean of good for my face are now making my skin so horrible. As a matter of fact, the hormones were the big contributors to horrible skin.

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Current skin heroes: La Roche Posay : Effaclar Cleansing Gel; Effaclar Micellar Water; Effaclar H Face Cream; Uriage : Hyseak K Face Cream; Bio Oil; Clarisonic Mia 2 Face Brush

The situation got so bad that my face actually felt like it was terribly sunburnt, itching and hurting and all… Luckily for me, a very good friend of mine is a great dermatologist and the moment we got back to Bucharest I asked for her opinion on the matter at hand. The downside with this period is the fact that I can’t really treat my skin with chemical-infused treatments, but rather have to go with over-the-counter dermatological products. Which got me in the current situation where, to D‘s surprise, my entire beauty routine doesn’t reach the cost of one of my three formerly used serums. Not that I am complaining, I am actually glad that by the end of the pregnancy, I will probably put away enough money solely form this beauty change to buy a new pair of Louboutins. Who knows, I might not change my beauty routine ever…

On to the products… The facial cleansing gel is lovely, both in texture and smell! Dare I say that I love it more than my usual Chanel foaming cream? The jury is still out on that verdict! I love the pump bottle as it gives you just the perfect amount of product to throughly cleanse your entire face and neck. The foam is soft and delicate and leaves your face feeling fresh as a cucumber! I use it morning and evening with my Clarisonic brush set to level 2 (the stronger vibrations). You can find this La Roche Posay Effaclar cleansing gel in any pharmacy, but I have to warn you that finding the pump bottle is a real struggle as most pharmacies tend to sell the tube version.

La Roche Posay –  Effaclar Cleansing Gel

Not that my face needs much cleansing after the gel, but I like the fresh feeling on my skin that a tonic water or a micellar water (in this case) leaves behind. For some reason, no mater how good my cleanser is, ever since I can remember, I’ve always used some kind of tonic water. Right now I opted for this very gentle micellar water from La Roche Posay because, at the moment I switched products my skin was extremely dry and irritated and I do not think it could’ve handled anything harsher. This just feels so amazing both while using it as well as afterwards, your skin just feels squeaky clean and ready for whatever cream comes next. I also use this product morning and evening using a cotton pad to distribute it evenly.

La Roche PosayMicellar Water

As opposed to a few months ago, when this was the moment for the serum in my beauty routine, nowadays it is time for the face cream. I use two different face creams one in the evening and one in the morning. Despite the fact that they are not specifically made for the two different times of day, they each address a different problem and help me look rather normal under the circumstances – read – my foundation can make me look normal! For day I use the Effaclar H from La Roche Posay witch helps my skin maintain normal levels of moisture while protecting it from unwanted zits. This one feels amazing on my skin, seriously, I think it feels better than my Chanel cream. It’s delicate, it hydrates without leaving a greasy after-feel, it protects it from getting dry-pats and smells divine, I think it smells like tulips. The nigh cream is a bit more hardcore and this is actually the one that fights zits and needs a more moisturising partner during the day. It is the Hyseac K from Uriage and I honestly have to give this one credit for being able to not wear foundation from time to time and not scare D away! You can really see the difference in the appearance of your skin from the first two uses, it diminishes pimples, helps you get a better skin texture and, as much as a cream can, keeps new zits at bay. It had a divine light texture, that is not really drying and smells like fresh-cut grass. To be honest, I can’t wait to put it on every single night.

La Roche PosayEffaclar H Face Cream

UriageHyseac K

That’s it! That is my entire beauty routine for my face. I think it has diminished in time by about 5 minutes and where the cash is concerned, the difference is colossal. I am really happy with these face products and I waited an entire month before I shared them with you simply because I really wanted to give you my true and honest opinion and see if they really work on the long term. They do! You can seriously trust these products as they will change your perception on cosmetics! I can’t promise you that I will not go back to my expensive creams after the pregnancy, but I can promise you that before I do that I will try the pharmacy sold wrinkle solutions as I have a feeling I will be impressed by those as well – I will keep you updated on that!

I’m sure you are wondering by now what is the bottle of Bio Oil doing in the photos… Well, this is yet another product that I am currently using for my skin – my body skin, that is – that I love and want to share with you. I have been using Bio Oil for a while now, even before I got pregnant and loved it a lot. The thing about using it before I got pregnant means that I used it during my first two months of pregnancy as well because I wasn’t paying attention to the finely written instructions on the back, apparently it is ok to use it after the first trimester. Thankfully, and I really want to put this out there, nothing bad happened and I came to the conclusion that most of the stuff is not really tested on pregnant women and therefore you have no way of actually knowing if it is good for the baby or not. I have used it during the first two months and nothing bad happened, so there you have it, Bio Oil is safe! I did switch to coconut oil once I read that Bio Oil might not be good and had a terrible experience with it. Well, not dramatic, but I did develop some sort of allergy to it, which did not happen before (I used coconut oil numerous time during my life and loved it), meaning that my skin was itching a lot even though there weren’t any actual irritation on the skin. I also noticed that it sank into my skin a lot slower than before and overall I hated it. Once my first three months ended I happily went back to my beloved Bio Oil that in my opinion is a miracle worker for skin: it does not feel greasy, it hydrates wonderfully, it diminishes spots and scars, it smells amazing and it is yet to be decided if it prevents stretch marks – currently I do not have any new ones, but I will keep you updated. I apply this twice per day, in the morning and in the evening and my skin feels and looks amazing. I am very meticulous about applying this oil twice daily as I have a really big tattoo on my right ribs and I really hope that it will not get ruined during pregnancy.

Bio Oil

This is it! This is my entire beauty routine during pregnancy! Nothing more! I can say that I’ve switched Sephora for my local Pharmacy and that my bank account is rather happy about the change right now! My skin seems to dig the changes also therefore I am one happy mama-to-be! I will keep you updated in case any changes appear!

L. 

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Face brush battle – Philips vs Clarisonic

Getting down to the nitty gritty… I’ve decided to review the two most popular face brushes on the market:

I’ve been using a face brush for the last three years and, when my first brush (Philips VisaPure) stopped working without any warning, I decided to try and cleanse my face without one, just to remind myself of the difference. The result was that the next day, during my lunch break I was off to get the other ‘best face brush’ contender on the market : Clarisonic Mia2. It’s not that I wasn’t happy with my Philips, on the contrary, I loved it, but I’m not the type to actually buy the same beauty gizmo twice, especially since I’ve had my VisaPure for more than two and a half years. I just needed a change and I really wanted to see which one was better.

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To be honest, after a lot of online research, I concluded that both products promise more or less the same things:

  1. Deeper, better cleansing of the face
  2. Better control of clogged pores
  3. Less zits
  4. Fine lines reduction
  5. Beauty products are supposed to work better on perfectly cleansed skin
  6. An overall better appearance of the skin

After more than two years of being addicted to my VisaPure, I can tell you that it ticks most of the above mentioned benefits. I say most, because I haven’t really seen any improvement of my fine lines, at least not thanks to the face brush – I’ve got Chanel to praise in that department. Maybe that was what actually convinced me to switch to the Clarisonic. I really wanted to believe that the much appraised sonic vibrations will be able to make me switch to a cheaper face cream, cos Chanel ain’t cheap, my friends. So here I was, back home, excited about my new acquisition. I waited patiently for what seemed like forever for my new Mia2 to charge and I started jotting down my first impressions of the new gizmo.

Upon unpacking and comparing the two, I have to say that none of the companies missed a single detail where quality of craftsmanship is concerned. Both products feel very nice and sturdy, and in my opinion, the VisaPure charger looks a bit better and is a bit more comfortable than the Mia2 charger. But, again, that’s my opinion only. The Mia2 charger is magnetic and quite easy to carry around when you go away on vacation, but the one from Philips looks way better. Another aspect about the battery-life that I’ve noticed in the past few months (this is why I’ve postponed this review so much) is that the VisaPure battery lasts a bit longer and charges a bit faster than the Mia2.

When it comes to the quality of the cleansing I think that both brushes score equally even though the two brushes use completely different motions and timers. What I mean by that is that motion wise, the Mia2 offers a sonic vibration of the bristles, without any rotation at all, therefore you have to do the rotating part by hand, while the VisaPure offers a rotating motion as well as a bit of a vibration but that’s very different from the VisaPure. Timer wise, the Mia2 divides one minute into two 20 second parts, each for your nose and chin and another for your forehead, and two 10 second parts for each cheek. The VisaPure divides one minute into three equal 20 second parts, one for the T-area and two for each cheek. For my needs, the Mia2 is better, simply because my problem area is my T-zone and therefore it needs better and deeper cleaning. That aspect is entirely up to the user and her needs.

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There is a very obvious difference where the two brushes are concerned. The Mia2 offers a bigger brush head than the VisaPure and that again, is an aspect that is up to the user. Some may argue that a smaller brush reaches more spots o the face – not true in my experience as both brushes reach every single inch of my face, while others might argue that a bigger brush covers a larger area. This again is a matter of preference because there is virtually no difference in the texture of both brushes. I was happy with my VisaPure and I am just as happy with my Mia2 brush.

I’ve said something earlier about the VisaPure not delivering where fine lines are concerned, and after two moths of using the Mia2, I can honestly say that this one doesn’t deliver either. The only viable solution to fine lines is either a good face cream – but that doesn’t necessarily stop them, it maybe postpones them, or fillers. These brushes will not be as efficient as fillers, so do not get your hopes up. The good thing about them is that it actually helps face creams work a bit better because your face is cleaner than ever. So yeah, if you are an optimist, you could say that they help, but there is no real difference between the two.

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Price wise, these two products cost basically the same, the brushes cost basically the same and you need to change them every three months for both of the products. To reach a conclusion, I’d say that choosing between the two is simply a matter of brand and design preference and nothing else. But I do have to say that ever since I’ve started using a face brush I’ve become an addict and can’t really stand cleansing my face without one, so be careful as they are addictive!

L. 

 

Lunch break activities…

Today, instead of actually eating lunch I felt the need to roam the shops for new and exciting things! No, it’s not payday, unfortunately, but every once in a while I swap online shopping for some real shopping. I sometimes consider this my workout (as it happened today). The good thing about actually going in the shops is the fact that you can try on lots of things, but the downside is that you end up with lots of stuff you don’t really need. The only downside (not really) of today’s shopping spree is the fact that right now I’m starving as I didn’t really sit down and enjoy a full lunch. But, sometimes, fashion needs sacrifice, and let’s be honest, everyone needs a few kgs off.

Today’s spoils were only a few pieces, but, boy, were they in my mind for a long time. Except for the two lip glosses, those were ‘spur-of-the-moment’ buys, but I loved them and who doesn’t need extra lip glosses? I finally gave into the whole culottes pants trend even though I’ve hated it ever since it first surfaced. However, this pair from Mango is a bit shorter and I imagine that with 100mm heels they’ll make even my short figure look ok. We’ll just have to wait and see… The Mazzy swimsuit from Agent Provocateur is a piece that I’ve had my eyes on since last autumn, but I only decided on it now and boy am I happy that I did! I’ve always loved Agent Provocateur, in fact it’s my favourite swimsuit/lingerie brand, and they do have the best fabrics and cuts.

As for the beauty investments, I’ve come to the conclusion that never ever do I regret buying beauty stuff. The Clarisonic Mia2 brush is a facial brush that I’ve been wanting to try for a few months now, ever since my Philips facial brush started showing signs of ageing. Yesterday evening it finally rolled it’s last roll on my face and today I needed a new facial brush. Over the past two years, since I’ve been using a facial brush, my skin texture changed completely. Now I can’t live without one and I really hope that this Clarisonic one won’t disappoint me. As for the two Urban Decay lip glosses, I always like trying new lip make-up and these two really have a nice texture and awesome smell.

I can’t wait to shoot/review everything I bought today!

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