27 October 2013

Field of stars


Dear diary,

This year I made a long time dream come true...
Compostela
I walked the Way of Saint James, well at least the last 100 Km that is needed to obtain the certificate and dragged my husband with me, lol.
We decided to take the original way and started off in Lugo and walked the first 18,5 Km until San Romao da Retorta where we had the 12-bed hostel all to ourselves, well maybe not quite...

This first stage was pretty easy, even though I'm not used to walking long distances and had never carried a backpack before in my life (school bag doesn't count).
The second stage was more difficult as we went through mountain passes with lots of ups and downs until we arrived in Melide. We walked about 30 Km that day in the hot sun and stayed at the overcrowded pilgrims hostel.
As a special treat for having walked so far we had a humongous T-bone steak at Casa Quinzan where Mariano, the manager, was nice enough to share his own dulce de leche and made me some pancakes.
The third day was the worst, my feet started to hurt so we stopped at Ribadiso to soak them in the icy waters of the Iso river. We continued our journey to Arzúa but I could hardly walk anymore, my feet were full of blares. My husband suggested we should walk back 2 Km to Ribadiso and stay at their beautiful hostel but I was so frustrated to go back instead of forward that it took him a long time to convince me. Total walking distance: 14 Km + 2 Km back: 16 Km.
We were lucky to have stayed at the Ribadiso hostel, even though it was full, the layout and partitions of the big dormitories where better made for having a quiet night's sleep. I rested my feet and took good care of my blares but best of all was that I could watch the F1 race at the restaurant, yay!
The following day we started off badly, my feet still hurt a lot and I only could walk at a really slow pace. After a 3-hour walk we stopped to have lunch and I took some Ibuprofen for the pain, something I never do as I hate taking meds. There we met a group of very nice people and we continued with them until O Pedrouzo but it was still early (13:00) and there were only 18 Km left to Santiago de Compostela so we decided to continue and give it a try.

In fact, we had planned to stay at the Santa Irene hostel but my husband was so wrapped up in his conversation that he didn't hear me scream his name when we passed by. As I was also having a good time and felt much better I let it pass and we walked the extra 4 Km.

What should have been a 5 day journey ended up in a 4th day nightmare, we wanted to arrive to Compostela so badly that the last 5 Km seemed endless. My blares started to burst so I had to walk the last 3 Km in my flip flops and my husband's knee started to hurt so much that he really couldn't have walked any further. But we had made it! A total of 40 Km on this last day proved to be a bit too much for us. Tears were running down my face at the sight of the magnificent Cathedral:

We stayed at the Parador Hotel:
And enjoyed the Galician gastronomy:

The best anecdote from this journey was that I got attacked by a ferocious hungry feline:
For the love of sharing,

25 October 2013

Nighttime skin care routine


Dear diary,

I usually take a shower before going to bed but before that I take most of my make up off.

With the help of a maxi cotton pad I remove my make up with a cleansing milk + toner or a two-in-one product, I like to switch products now and again so I use whatever I have at hand at the moment. When I'm really lazy or tired I take a cleansing wipe but a pack of 20 facial wipes can last me half a year or even more. I prefer not using them on a regular basis as they aren't that good for your skin.

As for the eye make up I have a special eye make up remover but when I haven't put on a real heavy eye make up look I can skip this step altogether, which is the case most days.

Once a week I use my Dermanew microdermabrasion system, I wrote a full post on this subject not so long ago. This is part of my deep cleansing routine.

While in the shower I use a baby shampoo to remove any left over mascara and eye make up, then I take a bit of facial wash for the rest of my face. I like using a facial foaming net I bought while in Tokyo earlier this year, it helps building up a lot of foam so the product can really work in your pores and cleanse them more thoroughly. You also prevent rubbing your skin with your hands, this is really a bad idea according to skin experts. The foam gets so thick that when you apply it on your face your fingers don't directly touch your skin.

I never use a towel to dry my face, instead I have a box of paper tissues in my bathroom so I pat-dry my face with those, it's more hygienic and soft for your skin.

As for moisturizing I start with a serum that I apply over my whole face and neck area, even on my eyelids, this time I use an eye cream on the entire eye area, lids included, as opposed to my morning skin care routine, and lastly a firming night cream.

A list of the products I'm currently using:

- Clarins One-step facial cleanser with orange extract
- MAC pro eye makeup remover
- L'Óreal micellar water
- Johnson's and Johnson's baby shampoo
- Clinique rince-off foaming cleanser
- Clarins Double-serum complete age control concentrate
- Mary Kay Timewise repair volu-firm eye renewal cream
- Mary Kay Timewise repair volu-firm night treatment with retinol

For the love of sharing,

21 October 2013

Best new product


Dear diary,

I've found the perfect body lotion for lazy people, like me.
NIVEA in shower body lotion
It's a new product from NIVEA, you have two options: one for normal skin and this one which is for dry skin. It contains almond oil, is sold in a 400ml bottle and cost about 4,80€.

And what's so new about a body lotion for dry skin, you may ask?

I don't have enough time in the mornings to use a body lotion, during summer I put a bit on my legs as I use to wear more dresses and skirts but that's it. It's in the evenings when I take another shower before going to bed and have the time to use a body lotion all over.

This lotion is meant to be used while in the shower, so it saves you a lot of time and you don't have to wait till the product is absorbed to dress yourself.

So, basically you apply this after having cleansed your skin with your regular body wash, soap, gel or whatever and you also rinse it off. After drying your skin with your towel, it leaves your skin feeling silky and moisturized for a long time.

Regarding smell, it doesn't have any scent so if you like using strong scented lotions this isn't the product for you.

They could improve the packaging as it would be more useful if sold with a pump system: it's a bit of a nuisance to pop it open and click it shut every time plus you have to be very careful not to drop the bottle when picking it up with your slippery hands. Another downside to this product is that it's kept upside down for practical reasons but this means that some product tends to accumulate around the cap which is a bit messy for my taste.

For the love of sharing,

17 October 2013

Microdermabrasion


This is what I've been using as a deep cleanser/exfoliator every week over the past year: it's the DermaNew Facial Rejuvenation System:
DermaNew Microdermabrasion system
It contains:
  • Dual action resurfacing tool
  • Crystal microdermabrasion cream 50ml
  • 1 large teardrop foam applicator (for body)
  • 1 small teardrop foam applicator (for face)
  • 1 soft-bristle pore cleansing brush (for face)
  • 2 AA batteries
  • Tool cap stand
Ingredients of the microdermabrasion cream:
  • mineral crystals
  • green tea (antioxidant)
  • Bacopa monniera (anti-inflammatory)
  • grapeseed extract (neutralises free radicals)
  • oat extract (soothing and nourishing)
It says to:
  • achieve smooth, even-toned, healthy-looking skin
  • polish and refine skin
  • diminish wrinkles, fine lines and pore size
  • decrease visible signs of aging and sun damage
  • reveal healthy new skin with a radiant glow
I really like to use the brush applicator once a week to thoroughly clean my face and remove any dirt and bacteria that is accumulating on my skin. I just remove all my make up first and then I put a bit of my usual cleanser on the brush, I dot it onto my skin and press the start button. I brush my whole face and neck area with a circular motion until the timer runs out (it stops by itself after 2 minutes).

Every other week I use the foam applicator with the microdermabrasion cream. It says you can use it 2-3 times per week but I don't like putting my skin under so much stress, I don't know it doesn't seem very natural to exfoliate that thoroughly so often.

I normally use the brush applicator on the lower speed and the exfoliator on the higher speed but that's the way I feel comfortable using it. The lower speed is intended for more sensitive skin types. I also avoid using it in the shower even though it says it's water-resistant and can be used safely.

I bought this on recommendation of Kandee Johnson and also because it's much cheaper than the renowned Clarisonic cleansing system.

I got it from: Dermacaredirect where it only costs 49.99£ whereas at a Spanish website it costs 84€, trust me, it's a huge difference.

To clean the sponge and brush applicators I use an anti-bacterial soap that I have for cleaning my make up brushes and sponges.

About the promises they make: I've noticed some improvement in the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines, not so much in pore-size, they still appear humongous to me. It hasn't improved any sun damage: I have 4 large dark spots from taking contraception pills and sunbathing, but I don't think there's a way to get rid of them unless I get them surgically removed and commit to staying out of the sunlight until my dying day: so no thanks!

It certainly polishes and smoothes out the skin leaving a very clean, healthy and radiant looking skin.

To summarize: it only fails in one category, so for me that is quite an achievement.

Sorry I can't compare it to the Clarisonic but I have never tried it and I don't think I'll have it in me to spend three times the price of the DermaNew.

For the love of sharing,

13 October 2013

Asphyxia


Dear diary,

No, I'm not having trouble breathing, it's just my new Urban Decay eye shadow with which I'm so obsessed about since I bought it a couple of weeks ago. It's a gorgeous duo-chromed shadow in a light purple color.
Urban Decay Asphyxia eye shadow
I own a few UD palettes: the "old" Ammo palette which was my first ever UD product, the 15th Anniversary palette and the Smoked one, I also have the build your own palette which is why I thought of getting the Asphyxia shadow to fill my yet empty (but one) palette.
Urban Decay Asphyxia eye shadow
And no, I don't own any NAKED palette, I'm not that much of a neutral kind of gal, I love using color combinations and I don't need that many brown/copper/golden hues. I really wanted to purchase the LORAC PRO palette but I haven't been successful yet, I'll have to wait until March, when a friend of mine is going to the U.S.

I had nothing special planned for yesterday but as I've just recovered from a bad stomach flu I decided to get myself pampered up and put on a full-face make up only to go shopping for groceries:
Make up products
Face:

Lise Watier Base Miracle Pore Minimizing Primer
Base: Dior Airflash foundation in 300 medium beige
Foundation brush: flat kabuki brush from Coastal scents
Concealer: bo-ing in 01 from Benefit
Concealer brush: Real Techniques domed shadow brush
Eye primer: Urban Decay primer potion
Setting powder: Studio Fix from MAC in NW30
Powder brush: Real Techniques multi task brush
Highlighter: Pearls from Deliplus (Supermarket brand)
Highlighter brush: duo fiber from IQQU
Blush: sweetheart eye shadow from the Stila lovely eye palette

Eyes:

Make Up For Ever aqua cream in 01 Anthracite as a base, applied with fingers
Asphyxia from UD blended into the crease, C433 Pro Blending brush from CS
Polyester bride from UD in the tearduct area,  Frontcover rounder shader brush
Chinois from Stila on the brow bone, Frontcover fluff + buff brush
24/7 Glide-on eye pencil from UD in Perversion to the tight line
MUFE aqua eyes in 11L purple on the waterline
Black liquid eye liner from BeYu and blackout eye shadow from UD to soften the line
Dramatical eyes base for lashes from Shiseido
False lashes volum' express mascara from Maybelline

Lips:

Maybelline lip liner in 132 sweet pink
Dior Addict lipstick in 433 délice
L'Óreal Glam Shine gloss in 407 Magnetic nude glow

Setting spray: Baby face mist from ARITAUM

I wanted to give my recently bought Airflash foundation a second chance as I had only tried it once before and was not happy with the results. I only used the foundation without applying a base primer or any setting powder on top just to see how it would last on my oily skin: I was looking like light bulb within the first half hour. 

This time I decided to prep my skin carefully with a primer, powder and setting spray and the results have been completely different, I only had to blot my face twice at 5 and 7 hours of wear and after a total of 10 hours I still had some foundation left: a bit patchy but I'd only used one thin layer of foundation without building it up. 

As for the shade, it matched my skin perfectly thanks to the Sephora color IQ. It's very simple, you go to their website, choose a foundation you're currently using that matches your skin color and they give you a color IQ number, I'm IR09. So when you want to buy a different brand you only need to find the one that matches your number without needing to go in store personally, perfect for online shopping!

I also look for online pictures of swatches to be more certain before choosing the winner. I always choose the lighter shade when in doubt as it's easier to build up that down and many foundations tend to oxidize with time which means they get darker than what they show in the bottle.

For the love of sharing,

11 October 2013

Hot oil


Dear diary,

I’ve been recently loving this hair treatment. I “bought” it at my mother’s a few months back. She had like three or four packs stacked up in her bathroom drawer so I convinced myself that she wouldn’t miss them, well I first took one to try it out and as it proved to be an excellent product I went back a month later and took another.

I use it once a month or when my hair really needs an extra boost of hydration.
Hot Stuff Hot Oil and Conditioning Treatment
It’s a two-step treatment, first you wash your hair with your regular shampoo, you rinse it well and towel-dry your hair before using step 1. You leave it in for 1 minute, meanwhile you put the step 2 sachet in hot water (I use a mug) and leave it there to warm up for 1 minute. You completely rinse off the conditioner from step 1 and with damp hair, no need to towel-dry this time, you apply the hot oil from the step 2 sachet and leave it in for another minute, then you rinse it off and you dry and style your hair like always.

You can really tell the difference after using this treatment, my hair looks shinier and feels more hydrated and healthy, my stupid flyaways/babyhair (I really have a lot of them, especially around my temples where they tend to curl) are tamed down for some time so I would love to use this every week.

In the past I’ve used some similar hot oil products but they were nothing compared to this one. I’ll definitely find out where to purchase them in the future, but only after my mom runs out of them, lol.

I have extremely difficult hair to work with: hardly have any at all as its sparse, fine, oily and the ends split easily when it gets too long. But well, on the other hand I don't have many greys, yet... I dye my hair every two months or so and I do it myself so I can spend the hairdresser's money on something else.

I tried to get my first selfie especially for this blog, I have no make up on as I've been very ill this past week and this was the first day I ventured out for a walk, my hair looked nice though without having done anything special: I let it air dry and just combed it. I used no styling products at all, only the amazing hot oil treatment.



Can't find a picture of me with a bad hair day, though. I will upload one sooner than you think!

For the love of having a good hair day,

6 October 2013

Out of order


Dear diary,

I've been catching up on some TV series this week and haven't really given much thought about my blog anymore. Even my youtube make up gurus have been put on hold.

I was hooked on Scandal but they stopped broadcasting it for no reason mid-season 2. So I was trying to find where it went thinking they had only changed the day, but no, no Scandal anymore... stupid network: instead they started broadcasting a reality show: who wants to marry my son, well if you're already implying that you want to get rid of your son I won't be silly enough to fall for that, don't you think?
Scandal TV show
Looking for any information about Scandal I stumbled across a web site for watching TV shows, movies and such with streaming video.

After watching all Scandal episodes I followed with: Downton Abbey, Awkward, The Big Bang Theory, Castle, How I met your mother and Cougar Town.

I'm spending hours on my computer watching all these series, when I get bored from watching too many episodes from one of them I simply switch to another, and so on.

So there's nothing really exciting going on in my life this week, hopefully the novelty will wear off in a couple of weeks, or not, and I'll go back to having a normal life, that is spending all the time watching youtube vids instead of TV shows, lol.

See you soon,

2 October 2013

September empties


Dear diary,

I've run out of some products, this first one died on me just when I was beginning to like it a lot, especially now that autumn has finally arrived. It's a beautiful plum gloss named Gilded Violet by Estée Lauder. I like the brush-like applicator, it gives you a smooth finish and it makes it very quick and precise to apply. I've never enough time to use a lip brush to put my lipstick on, so this has been a great alternative. I think I got it as a present for an online order at Strawberrynet and I've had it for quite a while but never got around to using it until recently. Now I regret not having anything left because it didn't dry out my lips at all and that's hard to find.
Gilded Violet gloss by Estée Lauder
The following two products I "bought" at my mom's: so she had them hiding in her bathroom cupboard for the longest time ever, even the expiry date had prescribed, lol...

I hate wasting products so I took them home with me and used them during the summer. They are just some random affordable make up remover from NIVEA and toner from our local supermarket MERCADONA.

Nothing to comment on these, they weren't particularly bad but I wouldn't repurchase them unless I find them at my mom's...
NIVEA make up remover lotion

Deliplus facial tonic
This serum I looooove, I was using the Advance Night Repair by Estée Lauder as well but I got tackled by an advertisement in a nondescript beauty magazine and I was sold. It promises to even out your skintone by getting rid of spots and hyperpigmentation and at the same time illuminates your skin and makes it look younger. I really can't tell if it works but I love the texture, faint scent and as for the illumination part it really gives your skin some sort of iridescent glow. It's somewhat on the expensive side but I always wait to get a discount or coupon to purchase it at a lower price. I think it retails for just below 100€ and I last bought it for 67€.
Estée Lauder Idealist serum
Another Estée Lauder product, this eye cream I use at night time as it's a rich formula. I have very oily skin, especially around my eyes so I don't like using such thick creams at day time as I want my make up to stay fresh and matte for as long as possible. As for the price, I don't remember what I paid for it but I am guessing about 35€.
Estée Lauder Resilience Lift
This base coat from Nails inc. London I won't purchase again, I found it too expensive for it's quality, I think I paid about 12€ at Sephora.  I suppose you pay for the name: Caviar base coat, wow! but not really... it's too thick and gooey so it's almost impossible to put a thin layer and it begins to peel off after three days or even less, so a big no-no from me.
Nails inc. Caviar base coat
And of course, a bottle of sun lotion. Summer is almost over, well it really is over, but we still have some nice sunny weather (28-29ºC) so I'm still using a lot of this stuff. Retail price is around 10-12€ for 200ml and it's a nice texture, it absorbs quickly and doesn't have an overpowering scent.
Nivea sun SPF 20

And that was it for now.

I'm really wanting to try out some new products and let you know what I think of them.

For the love of sharing,