Luxurious pamper – L’Occitane Ultra rich body cream

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Hey guys, I hope you’re all doing well! Spring has finally reached us and it’s the time when most people switch to lighter lotions, body sorbets or skip body moisturizing whatsoever. However, if your skin like mine needs rich moisturizers all year long or you just like to pamper yourself with a luxurious product once in a while then this body cream might be for you!

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L’Occitane Ultra rich body cream is formulated with 25% (!) shea butter as well as linseed, sweet almond and honey extracts and apricot oil. That is A LOT of goodness in one pot, may I just say. The cream has rich but soft consistency and it’s not oily – for me personally it’s very important as I can’t stand a greasy film on my skin. Instead, it sinks in quickly and leaves the skin super soft and moisturized. On top of that the smell is just beautiful – L’Occitane is famous for that and I love all their ranges but the shea butter one is my favourite. It has the classic, high-end natural moisturizer scent that is super clean and fresh but at the same time soft and warm, like fresh sheets.

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I love that the cream is very rich and restoring but at the same time not too heavy and it doesn’t clog pores, unlike some body butters do. If you add the cashmere-soft consistency and gorgeous smell that make the application pure pleasure I think it’s one of the best body products on the market currently and I was not surprised to find out that it won Elle Beauty Awards this year!

As always I have to mention the price – 155PLN (44$ in Sephora US) is a lot to for a body product, especially if you, like me, slather yourself in those generously. However, if you can afford it and want to treat yourself for a bit of luxurious pampering, I highly recommend it!

Have you tried this body cream? What are your favourite L’Occitane products?

AESOP – brand overview and favourites

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A couple of days ago I proudly announced on my Instagram (if you’re waiting for a sign to follow me on Instagram – @aniaskor – this is it) that I’m working on a lot of new content including a post about my favourite skincare brand. If I had to choose only one brand to use products from, no doubt it would be AESOP and I wouldn’t even be mad about it. Here’s a little guide to AESOP  and some of my holy grail finds!

AESOP is an Australian nature-focused, high-end brand available in their own or multibrand stores across the world (in Poland you can find it at Galilu ). AESOP products are created with attention to detail, after thorough research, using the highest quality, mainly natural ingredients. Due to possible differences in harvests, plant-based ingredients can differ from year to year, and therefore the products can also have slight changes. Apart from high quality and natural formulas,  AESOP is also well known for their unique apothecary-style, minimalist design that’s unisex, just like the products themselves. As a high end or even luxury brand, AESOP cosmetics are expensive, although the prices vary, depending on the formula of the product – you can find a moisturizer for 30 as well as 100 dollars. From the brand, there is skincare, bodycare and haircare available, however I wasn’t a fan of the haircare personally.

Below you can find some of my favourites that had a total WOW effect on me.

SKINCARE


Sage and zinc facial hydrating cream – SPF15

It’s my favourite for combination skin. Let me tell you, my skin is difficult. Acne- and irritation-prone, dry because of tretinoin treatment and normal to oily in the T-zone, which means it’s really hard to find a moisturizer that can deal with all that, however this one more than does the job. It doesn’t break me out, it’s very hydrating and nourishing but at the same time non-greasy nor heavy AND it has an SPF. I seriously couldn’t ask for more. As my skin can be irritated with visible redness because of harsh Polish winter and my anti-acne treatment, I try to find a moisturizer with a calming, protective effect and this one has it. It also works well under makeup and has a gorgeous smell.  The only two “buts” I can find is the jar packaging for the bigger size (40ml comes in a tube) and that the SPF could be higher.

Fabulous Face Oil

Exactly as the name not-so-subtly suggests, it is fabulous. This dry oil is light in consistency but ultra nourishing, perfect to use on it’s own as evening moisturizing. If you have combination, dull and congested skin, this product is for you. I personally noticed a difference from the first use, as I woke up with my skin feeling tight (but good tight, not dry-tight), looking healthy and brighter, with redness, dryness and irritation gone. Not to mention that the application is a wonderfully relaxing ritual, as the oil has an absolutely beautiful, herbal-woody scent, reminiscing a forest in summer. After a week of use I could also notice my dark spots fading which was really impressive for a skincare, non-medical product (even though it doesn’t claim fading dark spots so that was a nice surprise). I couldn’t also not mention a powerful but rarely found ingredient that is also present in a few other AESOP products – evening primrose oil. It is known for helping reducing skin inflammation, relieving symptoms of eczema and acne as well as improving skin’s elasticity, firmness and moisture. I noticed that products containing evening primrose oil work really well on my skin.

No cons!

Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste

I believe it’s the strongest and harshest face scrub I’ve used so I would recommend reaching for it once in a while, definitely not more than once a week. Despite that it feels harsh, I didn’t find it irritating, it just scrubbed EVERYTHING off, getting rid of any bumps, congestion and impurities. My skin felt and looked like new afterwards. I wouldn’t use it if you have active acne or skin irritation as instead of helping it could just aggravate the problem.

Perfect Facial Hydrating Cream

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Ultra moisturizing, super nourishing and restorative, I would call it my rescue cream for when my skin is heavily dehydrated, red and needs a boost. It’s very rich in consistency but dries quickly to a completely matte finish, however I did notice my skin getting a bit oily during the day. It’s a low price to pay though considering how well this cream combats dryness and redness. My quick fix for an oily T-zone would be Essence blotting papers or simply a porous paper towel gently patted on the skin. The ingredients list is quite impressive, you can find Vitamins C and E, frankincense (ah, the scent!), Aloe Vera, Shea butter, jojoba and rose fruit oil so I’d say it’s packed with good-for-your-skin and non-comedogenic ingredients.  Unfortunately such a formula comes with a hefty price tag of around 120$ for 60ml. I wish that with such a price the moisturizer came with SPF which should really be a standard these days.

BODYCARE

Redemption Body Scrub

Another potent exfoliant from AESOP, this time for the body. It contains finely milled pumice and bamboo stem that get rid of any dead skin cells or little bumps, leaving the skin super smooth and super clean. It’s exfoliating properties as well as pine needle scent make a perfect part of a weekly beauty ritual. I wouldn’t use it if you have very sensitive skin as pumice can be pretty harsh.

Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm

Oh my. If you’ve had a rough day and want to relax in the evening…. this could definitely help. Undoubtedly the best body balm I’ve used – very smooth, silky texture, neither too runny nor too heavy, covering the skin with relieving, hydrating, but non-greasy layer. Altogether with it’s gorgeous, warm scent of tangerine rind, sandalwood and vanilla it just makes the perfect end of the day and a little bit of pamper time. I only wish it was more efficient and more affordable!

I hope you liked my little brand overview here, would you like to see more brand-focused posts in the future? Have you used any AESOP products? What are your skincare faves?

To the next one,

Ania

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Things I learned in 2017


Hello everyone, I’m happy you’re here with me!

I originally wrote this post for myself. I had many thoughts roaming in my head, reflecting on the past year, planning for the current one and figuring out how I REALLY want my life to be so I decided to write everything down as a reminder as well as to clear my head. Here are some of the key things I learned that past year, highlights I want to remember and stick to in 2018 and furtherly. I hope you will find it interesting and maybe helpful as well!

1. Grab even the most unexpected opportunities.

Sometimes we reject possible chances thinking they aren’t exactly what we want, they won’t get us closer to our main goal or just because we are waiting For The Big Thing. However, The Big Thing won’t just come around while we sit and wait, if it comes at all – as we progress in life our Big Thing might not seem a thing anymore, with time we develop new goals and focus on the journey itself.  Opportunities that we were reluctant to at first, can turn out to be valuable lessons, possibly opening doors in the future. Many times I was in the situation when some of the things I did just simply to broaden my horizons unexpectedly turned out to be very useful.

Note: Doesn’t apply to men. Settle for no less or different than the kind of person you want!;)

2. Jealousy won’t get you anywhere.

I’m guilty of browsing my Instagram feed while being consumed by jealousy, I admit it. I’m not jealous of successful people I cheer for them, take inspiration from them and try to learn as much as I possibly can. I love reading books by successful entrepreneurs, listening to podcasts, interviews… and I’m definitely not one of the naysayers. However, if I saw profiles of girls who have lavish lifestyle thanks to rich parents or boyfriends… Man, did I get jealous. I realized it was driving me away from what I had to do and my goals and was making me miserable. I unfollowed the accounts that were making me feel this way and replaced their space in my feed with inspiring people like Gary Vaynerchuk or Sophia Amoruso. For the better!

3. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

As a child I was a total bookworm. I was spending most of my time reading and it was getting me far, appropriately for the age of course. From my late teens I was reading less and less and I’ll save you the story why. Last year I rediscovered the pleasure of reading and I literally felt as if I came back home after a long time away. I now read almost everything – from magazines to novels to business/motivation books (back to point 1 – sometimes you can unexpectedly find even a very light novel inspiring!) and I couldn’t be happier with it – I learn more, find inspiration, improve my laguage skills, generally stay more focused and sharp minded and…simply enjoy it a lot!

4. Chill the f out.

Unnecessary stress kills creativity, motivation and productivity. Too much perfectionism can lead to the opposite effects of the desired – have you ever ran out of time while trying to care about every tiny detail? I certainly have. Have you had unsatisfying results because you tried to do too well, were super tensed about it and therefore didn’t see better or easier solutions? I have! In the past year I realized that stressing out about everything makes it worse and can blind us to a degree when we don’t perform our best because we are too tense.  Also, nobody will like you if you’re stressed all the time.

5. Do I need this in my life?

As I am trying hard to adult I had to learn how to manage my money and that was NOT easy. I love great restaurants, like to take ubers instead of public transport, get a Dior lipstick instead of Rimmel etc etc. I mean, who doesn’t? But I guess that’s the thing about adulting – the ability of making choices. Now, before I buy anything (even if it’s an overpriced Starbucks latte) I always ask myself: do I need this? will it make me feel better/happy? Can I skip it? It was difficult at first but the outcome was rewarding – I learned the true value of things, stopped considering shopping as my main pleasure in life and learned how to save in order to get things I REALLY want like a niche perfume, a high quality handbag or just the confidence that my card won’t get rejected at checkout.

What lessons did you bring from the past year? Do you agree with my points?

I hope you liked the read, please let me know if you’d wanna see similar posts in the future! ❤

Stay tuned for more posts soon as I already have a few drafted!

xx, Ania

 

Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer – worth the price?

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Hello everyone! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Personally, I always get annoyed when people explain themselves so I will save you my ramblings and get straight to the point! I have missed blogging so much and I’m really glad to be back!

Some time ago (April, that is), encouraged by numerous positive reviews and a discount in Douglas, I’d decided to purchase the famous Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer with SPF20. To be honest with you, for a long time I couldn’t make up my mind about whether I like it or not. At first I loved it, then I hated it and now… keep on reading to find out what are my final thoughts!

I’d been loyal to the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturizer until I finally decided to splurge on the Laura Mercier that originally retails for 250PLN (44USD), however I managed to get it with a 20% discount. Still damn expensive, if you ask me but I was pretty convinced it will be an upgrade from my previous one and it comes in a 50ml bottle which is obviously more than the standard 30ml packaging.

I first sampled the shade Natural, which turned out too dark for me and then oxidized so that I started resembling a carrot, therefore I ended up picking up a shade lighter – Bisque. I always get a sample before buying a foundation and in this case I would go for one shade lighter than seems right in artificial in-store light. And yes, I count this product as a foundation. The Bare Minerals tinted moisturizer has skincare properties and has visibly improved my skin’s condition over the months. Unfortunately, Laura Mercier’s attempt doesn’t work as a skincare-to-makeup item for me. It didn’t improve my skin and I couldn’t get away with skipping an actual moisturizer before makeup. I would say it’s a light coverage foundation for normal skin.

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Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer oil-free in the shade Bisque; top – blended swatch, bottom – swatch, no edit

It applies smoothly, even if you use fingers to blend it, which is a great time-saver. Despite being an oil-free product, immediately after application I can definitely notice my skin looking oily (and it’s not the pretty healthy glow), therefore I always blot my face with a tissue before I proceed with concealer and powder. If you have oily skin I wouldn’t choose this one. I think it’s more suitable for those with normal or even slightly dry skin as it didn’t cling to my dry patches and smoothed them nicely instead. The skin looks smooth and healthy after application, you can tell it’s not a drugstore product. It has light coverage so it won’t hide pigmentation or blemishes but it’s enough to even out the skin tone. Below you can see how it looks after around three hours of wear, topped with a powder:


The foundation has been a part of my everyday makeup routine and I have to say it stays put really well throughout the day. I usually need to blot after a few hours but that would be it. The product doesn’t separate, wipe off or melt. It just stays as it was after application  until I decide to remove makeup, what I appreciate.

As for my sensitive skin, this product unfortunately has disappointed me. It does break me out a little bit and I am experiencing redness in the area around my nose and mouth what normally rarely happens after using high-end products.

Would I say it’s worth the hefty price tag? I don’t think so. There are many good tinted moisturizers at a lower price point, like my favourite Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue. Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is good, especially for someone who doesn’t have sensitive skin and wants their makeup to stay all day but for me it’s a pass. I expected it to have skincare properties and improve my skin’s condition just like the Bare Minerals did (or more, actually) but it turned out to be a pretty average light coverage foundation. Despite it staying put all day and looking overall nice and smooth I’m not convinced that it’s worth the splurge.

Have you used the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer? What do you think of it? What are your favourite products of this kind?

A hit and a miss – Sephora sleeping masks

Hello everyone, I hope you had a great weekend! To be honest, I wasn’t always a face mask aficionado who wished she could try a different mask every day – I used to totally neglect this part of skincare routine and that clearly was a mistake. Fortunately, I realized how much my skin can benefit from masking and now I simply cannot imagine skipping this step of my weekly routine. Among all, sleeping masks are my favourite – I can just sleep peacefully while they work their magic. Or not, like one of the masks reviewed below. Keep on reading to see which one became my holy grail and which one did absolutely nothing for my skin!

Sephora Rose sleeping mask – Ultra moisturizing and brightening


A not-so- hidden gem revealed – this mask is MAGIC. When I was first using it I didn’t expect much, I was actually worried it might irritate my skin because this usually happens when I try products with natural extracts. Not in this case. It did tingle a little bit right after application but I didn’t experience any redness or irritation afterwards. I woke up with my skin looking renewedglowy but not oily, hydrated, fresh, plump and smooth. I tend to get dehydration lines on my forhead and around my mouth and they were completely gone, my skin felt firm and even lifted. This effect lasts every time for about two to three days and now I use the mask once a week. It’s a great product to reach for if you have a special event the next day and you want your skin to look gorgeous and be perfectly prepared for makeup application. Another great thing about the mask is that the one small pot lasts for about four applications if only you protect it from drying out. Pretty amazing, considering that it costs 4$ (in Poland 15zł). It has become a must-have in my makeup bag and I’m excited to try more products with rose extract now!

Sephora Ginseng sleeping mask – Toning and firming

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So if the other one was a hit I guess you already know that this one just didn’t do it for me. It doesn’t have a nice cream-gel consistency like the rose version – it’s a very lightweight gel that’s supposed that have a toning and firming effect on the skin. Unfortunately, I did not notice the slightest difference in my skin after using it so I won’t be repurchasing this one.

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Have you used the Sephora sleeping masks? What do you think of them? What are your favourite sleeping masks?

To the next one,

A.

 

Best hand creams to relieve dry skin

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Hello my beauties, I hope you had a great start of the week! Winter weather has been mercilessly harsh lately and as a person who constantly loses her gloves and washes her hands way too often (any other hygiene freaks here?) I really need to take good care of my hands to prevent them from being incredibly dry and chapped this time of the year (or, ever). Here are my favourite picks for keeping my hands moisturized and smooth, even in temperatures dropping far below zero!

Day creams

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1. Evree Handcare Instant Help.

The only cream from this post available only in Poland so my readers from other countries can skip this one. It’s my favourite when it comes to drugstore hand creams to use during the day – it is moisturizing and nourishing thanks to allantoin, glycerin and mango butter but at the same time it absorbs very well, is non-sticky and non-greasy. For me it’s a great, affordable option for all year round.

2. Sephora Moisturizing Hand Cream Cotton flower.

It was a part of Sephora’s Christmas collection last year, however I’m pretty sure they will release something very similar very soon. Even though the ingredients list isn’t very impressive it moisturizes very well, to the point I don’t need to use it each time I wash my hands, which is great. It also smells beautifully, a bit like fresh laundry, only more sophisticated. I think it’s worth a bit of a higher price tag, especially when in a gift set.

3. L’Occitane hand creams (various).

The brand has an amazing choice of hand creams – many different scents, formulas and sizes. They have become cult products and I must say I totally understand why. These are the only creams I could use day and night and not suffer from dry hands (otherwise I need to use special creams for the night which you can read about below) and in addition to that they smell just gorgeous, all of them. Despite all the moisturizing and nourishing properties as well as the rich formula, they aren’t sticky nor they leave any greasy residue. The only downside here is the high price.

4. Eos Hand Lotion.

Despite my love for L’Occitane, this one has to be the winner. I think EOS has reached the perfect balance between rich formula and lightness – the product just sinks into the skin instantly, leaving it smooth, pampered and also refreshed. I also love the truly ingenious packaging – it’s kind of a sleek, squeezy egg with a pop-up cap instead of a traditional one. This solution is both hygienic and practical – you won’t lose the cap when on the go and it’s easier to keep everything clean (I just hate it when the dust gets stuck inside of the cap, gross). It’s also designed in a way that you just need to squeeze it gently to get the product out, no matter how much of it is actually left. It is a bit expensive I must say but I believe that the quality-price ratio is excellent. EDIT: I was checking the scents of these and I saw that in the US they are very affordable. In Poland, however, they are about triple the price!

Night Creams

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1. Kaufmann’s Haut-und-Kinder-Creme.

Okay, I’m cheating a bit here because technically it’s not a hand cream. This amazing but available only in Germany cream is suitable for sensitive skin to soothe any kind of dryness or irritation on any part of the body. If my hands have particularly dry patches I apply it there only and let it do it’s magic overnight. It’s also perfect for dry, red skin on your nose when you have a cold – I used it like this recently and it totally saved my nose from being red and sore!

2. L’Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream with 20% Shea butter.

I already mentioned L’Occitane creams, however this one is much thicker and more nourishing than the rest so it deserves a separate paragraph. Because it’s so moisturizing I prefer to use it at night and wake up woth baby-smooth hands. And it smells just D-I-V-I-N-E!

3. Neutrogena Concentrated Hand Cream.

This product is simply a WOW one. It’s more of a hand mask than a cream. For me it’s waaaay to thick for when I actually need to use my hands so I apply it generously right before sleeping and my skin is completely renewed in the morning. I honestly couldn’t live without it and that’s why it made it to my 5 beauty products I couldn’t live without post a while ago.

I hope you enjoyed reading! Do you like any of these hand creams? What are your favourite ones? Let me know!