Favorites #4: What I’ve loved in April

Now that we’re in May it is time for my April faves. Usually it’s not really that easy for me to pick faves, ’cause I feel like there’s products I use daily (one needs to brush her teeth e.g.), but that doesn’t automatically mean I love them, you know? But in April things have been easy and most of the products you will have seen on these shores during my pre-travel posts already:

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The first one is the body lotion a friend gave to me and she herself got a hold of these during her stay at the InterContinental Warsaw, if I remember correctly. Cannot say if you can purchase these products anywhere or if they’re exclusively to this hotel (or maybe even hotel group) but if you should ever stay in this particular branch or see them elsewhere – grab ’em while you can, they’re lush. I liked all four products I had with me, but the body lotion in particular was my fave out of them. So lemon-y, so summer-y, so fresh. The hoarder in me wants to hold on to this, ’cause it’s “hard to get a hold of”, but I am forcing myself to using it off, so you will see this guy again in May’s empties #fingerscrossed

The Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask I actually used as a night cream while I was in the UK rather than a hydrating face-mask, because I feel like the water in the UK is much “harder” on my skin than the water in Germany, so my skin actually needed a little more nourishment. I applied a thin layer in the evenings after I’ve cleansed my face (obviously) and then another thin layer before I went to bed and it worked perfectly that way. I’m actually thinking of purchasing the regular size to use as its designated purpose every once in a while, ’cause this small size is just too fab for traveling, so I won’t be using that off, since I don’t remember where I got it from.

The CD Waterlily Deodorant I just bought on a whim. It was the only travel sized deodorant I’ve found that didn’t contain aluminum when I went looking for one at my local drugstore. And now that I’ve used it I want to get the big size. It’s fresh and air-y and flower-y, but not in your face flower-y, you know what I mean? I’m on the hunt. And I’m not the only one apparently, it’s always bloody sold out.

The Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion is another surprise for me. I just brought this with me, because it was the only neutral scented body lotion I had in a travel size but didn’t really expect to like it. I’m usually very particular when it comes to moisturizers, ’cause a lot of times they feel very tacky, as if they wouldn’t sink in properly. But this Clarins’s one surprised me. I’m thinking of treating myself to the big size in the nearer future, just to see if the love continues. It felt really lovely on my skin.

And lastly we’re having a lip balm by Louis Widmer. After I came back from my trip my lips were really messed up, which is not to blame on the trip but on the seasons changing. And I remembered I had this one somewhere in my stash. It fixed my lips in days and that usually doesn’t happen. And especially with Spring coming up it was particularly important for me to get my lips back on track, ’cause I really wanna wear them bright fun colors. This has now made its way into my on-the-go beauty bag.

I hope this was somewhat interesting and maybe even a little helpful to you! If you have any questions or recommendations – pop ’em down below!

Love, Kat.

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Empties #4: What I’ve used up in April

This months empties is a little overdue, I know, but seriously, April went by so freakishly fast! *insert freaked emoji here* I have good news, though: this is gonna be a quick one. Since I’ve been living out of my suitcase for half of April I didn’t have a chance to empty any of my regular skin & body care but them travel minis exclusively. Did not make it through the whole lot, but the hair & body care bits are almost completely gone. And let me tease you, one or the other product may have made it to monthly fave status…

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The Aussie Hair Aussome Volume Dry Shampoo I really liked, though it was emptying really quickly. But to be fair I’ve never used a travel sized one before, so maybe it’s a common thing. I will restock this one for my travel minis family, though, since I really enjoyed using it and it is very good value for money size-wise compared to other travel products.

The Wella Wellaflex Form & Finish Hairspray lasted a little while longer than the dry shampoo did. The product itself I find to be a bit more sticky than the hairspray I normally use. But since I can’t get a hold of my fave hairspray in travel size, and compared to other travel sized hairsprays I’ve used so far, this one is the best, so I’ll restock this one as well.

The La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water has been on here before and will very likely make it’s appearance again, so I won’t really get into this. I have a 300ml size in my bathroom, a 50ml size in my handbag during summertime as well as on rotation in my room for whenever I feel my face needs a little refreshening. It’s a staple.

The Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion I really enjoyed using and is the one product that has made it to monthly faves  status. It was a surprising product for me as I tend to be very picky when it comes to body lotions. I’m actually thinking about buying the regular size as a treat in the near future, I liked it that much.

Now, the shower gel, shampoo & conditioner are products I got via a friend who’s got it from a hotel she once stayed at, and I really enjoyed using these products. The smell is lovely. Lemon-y, but not toilet cleaner lemon-y, you know? Very fresh and light. I loved it. I have a mini body lotion of this range as well, which I loved the most and therefore made it to monthly faves status. If I could repurchase I would very likely consider repurchasing the shower gel & body lotion. Unfortunately I can’t #buh

And lastly I’ve managed to empty yet another chapstick #yasss. You probably know how hard it is to finish one, especially when you’re having a) a ton of them and b) they keep disappearing & reappearing constantly. So, this being my second one this year just makes me feel like I have my life in order #joke But, you know what I mean: I can’t even remember when I’ve finished the last one before those two. This particular one is the Neutrogena Lipbalm. My mom swears by it, which is actually why I got it. But I don’t really get why. It just didn’t do much for my lips. Won’t repurchase.

Hmm… Not a quick quick one after all, this post. But hey, I tried to keep it as short but informative as possible for you lot, so hopefully this was sweet enough for you, lovelies! Any questions? Pop ’em below! Recommendations? Same so!

Love, Kat.

 

The Declutter Piggy Jar

I’ve bought this simple but beautiful Piggy Jar last Spring in a home decor store, but hadn’t really activated it until recently. The only thing I did was to paint the steel lid copper and place it decoratively on my counter to collect dust. But, during the course of clearing out, I stumbled across one or the other item not bin- but sell-worthy. These items have been or will be either auctioned off on eBay or I’ll set up an offer in my local Facebook flee-market group to see if anyone in my area would like to put it to good use instead. You know what they say: one’s trash is another one’s treasure. And as you can see, I’ve already made a little bit of ca$h:

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So I’ve decided that from then on until September 30th 2016 every €€ I make via selling declutter items, donating blood (which I try to do 4x/year, if my iron levels are high enough), birthday money… pretty much any extra €€ I make apart from my paycheck will feed this jar. And on said date I’ll make a cash check to see what I can treat myself to. I already have some ideas in my mind, some have been there for a while, some are quite new but very prominent; however, all of them are definitely not beauty buy but designer or pamper related – maybe a lil’ YSL? Maybe a  lil’ LV? Maybe a tandem skydive?? #eeek

I’m really trying not to get too excited #virgorationalism, ’cause I’ll only know what I can possibly treat myself too once I know the actual budget, but I am excited! Plus knowing me, I’ll probably have to force myself to make it a treat yo’self item/moment, for I have the tendency to rationalize things down to “gotta pay my service bill” or that sort. So I’m trying really hard to think of the content of this jar as “it’s not there”, as in, you know, you cannot calculate with money you don’t have (or at least I can’t). And technically – if I wouldn’t make the effort of selling the items or go out and donate blood, I wouldn’t have that money. So let’s just pretend like I didn’t until the end of September, eh?

Phew, now this was a rather explanatory one, but well, just so you know what it’s like in a overthinking everything person’s head… If you have a Piggy Bank, anything particular you wanna treat yourself to? Or is it hard for you to treat yourself as well, aside from the weekly Sunday face mask treat or a coffee to go? Share in the comments!

Love, Kat.

My short-haul flight essentials

Hey, Loves, greetings from Berlin! I’m here for a speedy 36hrs stay with my lovely friend and her cheeky baby-boy before I’m finally flying out to the UK and it’s needless to say that I am über excited. It’s been seven years since I’ve last been and I cannot wait to meet up with friends along the way. But with flying involved unfortunately comes a little bit of anxiety as well. I’m not particularly scared of flying itself. In fact, the most exciting parts to me are the ones that others tend to be scared of: take-off and landing. I totally get that, though, since they’re the morst dangerous parts of the whole shebang – but I personally love the speed involved. Unfortunately the whole process of landing gives me the worst pain in the ears, especially the right side, leading me to be practically deaf for 24+ hrs afterwards. It’s a truly painful experience and it, worst case, can lead to me shed a tear or ten. Won’t stop me from flying, though. 

Since the prospect of said pain isn’t the most exciting one, getting organized (and/or packing) before flying is usually something that helps with the tension a little, ’cause it takes my mind off the subject for a while, so I thought I’d run you through my short-haul flight essentials at this point:

ON-BOARD BEAUTY
My flight departs at 6.30 a.m., so I’m very likely not gonna put a face on, and therefore won’t need anything of that sort in my handbag. What I will bring, though, are a hand sanitizer & hand cream, a lip balm and a face spritz to help counteract the in-flight dehydration.

ON-BOARD COMFORT
Despite how awful I may look, comfort is usually crucial to me during any time of travel – I’m always the first one to take off my shoes and put a comfy pair of socks on, be it on a train, bus, plane… anywhere. Since this is only going to be a short-haul flight, which will be followed by a 2.5hr bus ride, I’ll skip the sweatpants this time around and go for a proper pair of pants, paired with a comfy sweater to keep me warm on the plane, a big, comfy scarf that could double act as either a blanket or pillow on-board as well as to keep me warm once landed on UK grounds, and, of course, said comfy pair of socks.

IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
Since I’m gonna be in England for 9 full days, I had originally planned on bringing my laptop with me, but I’ve just talked to my friend and she’s pointed out that I most likely won’t use it, so why the hassle of carrying it around with me? And she’s right, I’ll be busy walking around and exploring, catching up with friends and am very likely to be knocked-out at night time. Plus, I think it will be nice to not be connected full throttle, you know, it’s a holiday after all. So, all I’m bringing a-board with me is my fully charged phone & headphones so I can listen to music and additionally I’m going to go really old school and simply bring a book with me to read.

RANDOM SAVIORS
Now, since I am having so much trouble with my ears, I’m bringing some proper kind of in-flight ear plugs which I got from my pharmacy to hopefully help with the air pressure compensation during the process of landing. I will be chewing gum and sip on water throughout the process as well – anything that might help my ears dealing with the air pressure decreasing. And, of course, tissues in case there might be tears involved…

Getting organized in advance definitely helps with my nerves. It will not help with the actual problem, but at least I’ll know I’ve got everything that might help with me. Do you have any flight essentials? Please share if you do!

Love, Kat.

My Travel Body & Hair Care

I’ve officially started packing today, and while I’ve let you in on my skincare on Sunday, today’s post is a short’n sweet one about the products I’m bringing along to take care of my body & hair – obviously leaving out the boring bits (such as hair dryer, straightener, brush). And the best bit: they’re all travel sizes!

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As you can see it’s pretty much the most basic ensemble. The only thing I’ve actually doubled is a body cream, because I don’t think the little one would be enough for my whole body, but any other than that, this should do.

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For body care we’re having a random shower gel & body lotion. A friend actually gave these to me from one of her last trips (sneaky hotel steal). A 2nd body lotion from Clarins, a deodorant and a gift with purchase mini perfume. For this I actually went to Germany’s equivalent of Sephora (Parfümerie Douglas) and asked specifically for this and they happily helped me out #tipalert

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For hair care we’re going all basic as well with a random shampoo & conditioner (again, sneaky hotel steal), an Aussie Hair Aussome Volume Dry Shampoo, so I won’t have to wash my hair every darn day, and a travel sized Wella Wellaflex Form & Finish Hairspray to combat the fly aways.

And that’s it. All of this incl. my skincare fit perfectly into my clear toiletry bag. Officially ticked off the list, it’s now waiting to find it’s place in my suitcase tomorrow #stresslevelcombat

What are your most basic travel bits? Feel free to share!

Love, Kat.

My Travel Skincare

Now that I’ve let you in on my packing tips, I thought I’ll let you in on what’s going to make it to the Island with me in not even a week’s time from now #excitementlevelsarehigh The beauty of a drawer full of travel sized beauty bits is, that I can pack the things I plan on taking with me up way ahead of time. This way I won’t be standing in my bathroom the morning I’m leaving, ticking things off my list to throw everything I need into my beauty bag(s) the last minute. Stress level balanced.

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I’m sure to some this may look a little extensive, and I’m sure if I would travel with hand-luggage only I could and would slim it further down, but for the longevity of this trip and my own comfort this is my kind of minimal for this trip.

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For the morning routine we’re having (in order of usage): a travel sized Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Skin Toner, a travel sized Biodroga Repair & Cell Protection Eye Care, the TBS Nutriganics Soothing Serum (discontinued), a travel sized Pai Skincare Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream and, since I’m going to be walking around outdoors – and hopefully in bright sunlight! – a lot,  the Clarins SPF 50+ Sun Wrinkle Control Cream for Face to protect my skin from UVB/UVA rays (will be decanted, though).

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The nighttime routine consists of: the Rival de Loop Clean & Care Eye Makeup Remover Pads to get rid of my eye makeup with one side and then swipe them across my face with the other side to roughly get rid of the base, before I’m going in for a 2nd cleanse with the Pai Skincare Cleanser. This will be followed by my DIY ACV toner, the Biodroga Eye Cream and a travel sized Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II on serum stage, before it is topped off with the Pai Skincare Day Cream again.

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Now, these four products above are clearly not necessary, but I am treating my skin to face masks at least twice a week (matter of fact: I’m sitting here writing this post with a mask on my face) and I figured, since I’m going to be on the road for two weeks, I’d bring some SOS essentials with me, in case my skin should desire such: a travel sized Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask as a night time treat if needed. The Biodroga Puran Formula Spot Treatment in case the London pollution gives my skin the freaks. And those two sachets are the Pai Skincare Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator as well as their Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Maskjust in case.

And that’s it. If you’d like me to do an in-depth review on anything in this travel regimen, pop a request below!

Love, Kat.

Packing Tips From An Over-Packer

For my up-coming trip I’m flying with Ryanair, and though they’re known for their cheap hand-luggage fares, this time I took advantage of an online offer and booked a round-trip in their business fare. Technically, the hand-luggage fare would have done the trick, but I have things sitting here for my friend in the UK that I was to send over there by mail, and she’s got things waiting for me as well, so I figured we’d safe the postage and I could just carry whatever along with me without any worries. But flying with check-in luggage makes the temptation of overpacking very real – the bigger the suitcase, the less my brain seems to be able to prioritize and I end up “needing” everything with me. And while I’m sitting here, thinking about what I’ll have to think of packing, I started writing lists, trying to think of everything that needs to be taken care of in advance & I thought I’d let you in on some of my tips:

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DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you can start thinking about what to pack, you must check for weather conditions. During this trip, e.g., I’m not going to stay at one place for the whole time, so I’m going to check weather.com for forecasts for the time table and places in question. Once you have an idea of what Petrus has got in store for you, you can go on and plan out what you want to wear.

PLAN YOUR OUTFITS
I’ll be living out of my luggage for about 12 days and be in two different “stages”, if you will: partly I will be spending time at friends’, partly I’m going to be with strangers. For my stays at friends’ I know I’ll have a washing machine at hand, which cuts underwear in half, e.g. (just to give you an idea of the planning process). Furthermore, it is easier for me to figure out what I’d like to bring if I think and plan in outfits: what bottoms do I want to bring and what tops will go with all of them (variety). What activities are planned? You (and with that I mean myself) may want to take all four of your favorite coats, but let’s be honest here: a warmer and a lighter alternative will totally do. You may have the space. But you don’t need to fill it up completely, eh? Same goes for heels: if you don’t live on heels on a regular basis, like me, you don’t need options on a trip – keep it basic and take a pair that’ll go with the majority of your outfit options for those one or two fancy nights out.

WRITE LISTS
Now, this is the most important one: write down in advance what you’d like to bring. This step seriously brings the stress level down and will help you prep: do you need to do laundry before you leave so everything you’d like to wear is clean? Once everything is clean, the only thing for you to do is to “pack and tick”: put it in your suitcase and tick it off of your list. This way you hopefully won’t be left with that annoying, nagging, quiet voice in your head whispering “must’ve forgotten something“, but also unlikely to throw last-minute panic bits in your suitcase.

TAKE MINIS
This is such a random but mandatory one. Especially when you’re traveling with hand-luggage only, since we all know how restricted we are for security measures. I have a huge drawer with minis, but even if you don’t, not to worry, there’s two things you can do: 1.) hit up your pharmacist/drugstore of trust and rummage through their travel section, 2.) decant products you want to take on the ride with you. Every pharmacist/drugstore has little travel sets, usually containing of a clear bag filled with two mini bottles for fluids and two little pots for creams. Personally, I love these acrylic stacking cases by MUJI, on which I’m stacking up whenever i’m near a store.

Wow, I didn’t expect this to turn into such a long one… I hope you made it to the end of this and found it somewhat useful! I, on my part, shall resume to my lists now – any tips on how to travel lightly, how to optimize your space, anything? I’m all ears.

Love, Kat.

New In: Pai Skincare Anywhere Essentials Collection

Travel sized beauty products are not only one of beauty’s best inventions, but one of my all time faves as well. As soon as something’s got mini status, “want” is written all over my face – which is why I have a huge drawer full of travel sized products. And every time I go away, I am rummaging through said drawer, picking out the products I want to take along #happiness 

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Pai Skincare, one of my favorite all natural brands, have made my choice even easier with their travel kits they’ve come out with, I think, back in 2014? Not only are they handy for the obvious – travels – but also to simply try their essentials out. There are four skin-needs to pick from: Balancing (already own this range full size), Calming (which is what we’re looking at here), Hydrating (most likely going to be my next pick, since I really want to try the Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream) & Aging (might as well complete the range, eh?).

I’ve just got ahold of mine in preparation for my up coming UK travels, because I luuurve their cleanser already, so was bound to decant it anyways, and I’ve wanted to give their Chamomile & Rosehip Day Cream a try. It may sound a little risky to only take a whole new moisturizer on travels, while you don’t know how your skin might react to it, but honestly, I just trust their products to be suitable for my sensitive skin, so I don’t really worry about any bad reactions #livingontheedge

Now the deeds for you: for just 26 € you get a 25ml cleanser, 12ml skin tonic, 10ml day cream & a muslin cloth in a very cute’n handy small zip bag to keep them in and according to a Pai tweet my way, this should last 2-3 weeks – so not only perfect for longer travels but a proper trial.

If you want to give this beautiful brand a try or are bound for travels soon as well, these would make an excellent addition to your beauty bag. Highly recommend.

Love, Kat.

Non-Empties #6: The Spring Edition

Writing from the astronomical side of the northern hemisphere, today’s officially the first day of Spring and therefore it is time for just another installment of our Seasonal Empties. But can we take a second and appreciate the fact that, for once, I am right on time with this #patsherselfontheback And I am not talking date, but time wise (according to the calendars, this year’s Spring starts at 0530 MET). Just a little nerd-y treat, from me, for you.

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The Rose of Bulgaria Rose Water by biofresh Cosmetics. I was giftet this face spritz by a friend who was given the product to herself as well. It’s a Bulgarian brand and the first and only product I’ve ever used from them. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it neither. It’s just… it says it is 100% natural rose water, and I’m just not a sucker for rose fragranced products. When I used it, and did so consistently, I kinda get over the rose-smell a little. But whenever I stopped and then picked it back up, the resentment just got worse. In this case, totally not the product’s fault, it’s just personal preference really. I’m sure people who love rose-y things will in fact enjoy this product very much. It’s just a little too much for me. Won’t repurchase.

The Schwarzkopf got2b Dry Shampoo. I surprisingly liked the fruity smell it has, but the product itself didn’t really do much for my hair; it just feels heavy & grubby after usage, but volume? – not so much. So I’ve only used it maybe five times and then it disappeared from my shelf into my storage box. But since I had a haircut recently, maybe this will work better for my now shoulder long hair? We’ll see… Either way, I won’t repurchase.

The Isana Aloe Vera Deospray. Ugh. Hate the smell. But I’m just gonna power through this thing so I can get back to my Isana Fresh Deospray again. Clearly won’t repurchase.

The Microcell 2000 Nail Repair Remover. You know I’m using and loving the nail treatment that comes with the line. The remover, however, is a big dislike. Is it effective in removing nail polish? Yes. But it stinks. And it stings/burns like a mofu on damaged skin. It’s just very harsh. I suffer of a cold right now, and this stuff just fires up the coughing! It’s a weird one as well: if you put it on a cotton pad and remove polish from a nail and get distracted… it kind of evaporates from the pad? Like, the pad feels dry after a while. But the product itself leaves kind of a white, super drying cast on and around the nails and just feels very stripping. Definitely won’t be repurchased.

The Vanilla Petals Body Cream (4 oz.) by Carol’s Daughter. You know by now how much I luuurve CD’s Body Creams / Butters / Lotions. This little pot came in a LE-Set with two other ones I’ve already finished. And, like the other two, I’m only emptying this just so it doesn’t go off. I already have an untouched 8 oz. pot waiting in line, though.

This time ’round it’s only five products, but altogether they’re probably gonna take a while so I didn’t wanna overdue it again. You know, actually finish all the products in one Season for a change. Looking back at my Seasonal Empties I think I was a little too eager, so it’s probably better to make it short and sweet instead of dreading, so I actually get to use products I like as well. You know, have fun with beauty and don’t make it a hassle… Ha, you live and learn!

Love, Kat.

Empties #3: The Winter Edition

Before we get to this year’s Spring Edition let’s revisit them Winter-Empties first:

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This time ’round I’ve managed to not only use up almost all of them Winter Non-Empties as well as the Speedy Edition, but on top of that some random bits & bobs from previous seasons, yay. The only two products that literally went M.I.A. on me this past Season are the eos Lip Balm in Strawberry Parfait and the Maybelline Lipstick no. 715-Choco Cream. They’re gone. I’m sure they’re somewhere together, I just dunno where. So when they pop back up I’ll make sure to give them a proper use. But for now I’m going through my stash to see what will have to go this Spring. That said: make sure to pop around again on Sunday and join in! #BellasHavenNonEmpties

Love, Kat