Sunday, 30 July 2017

Introducing Cellagon Apricot Line - Apricot 24h Cream

Cellagon cosmetics is a German company which produces natural vegan beauty products. All their products are free from parabens, paraffins, silicones and PEGs and they don't test on animals. 

One of their product lines is the Apricot line, a collection of skincare based on apricot kernel oil. The products are made in Switzerland and smell like a basket full of ripe apricots. I had the chance to put one of them, the Apricot 24h Cream, to the test. 

Apricol kernel oil contains vitamin A and E as well as essential fatty acids and the Apricot 24h Cream contains other lovely ingredients such as grape seed oil, edelweiss extracts (that's such a swiss ingredient) musk rose seed oil and argan oil. The description of the product says that the effects on the skin are a healthy rosy complexion, reduced pores, more elasticity and activation of the skin's metabolism. 

What I find absolutely ingenious is the airless jar of the product. This is so much more hygienic that a normal pot because you don't get in contact with the cream except for the exact amount you're applying. You just have to push on the top of the jar using your thumbs to get the amount of cream you need for one application out of it. The airless jar can be refilled, Cellagon Cosmetics sells refill pots for the Apricot 24h Cream. 

So far, so good. But does the product have any miraculous effects on my skin? 

This face cream can be used twice a day. Due to its rich texture, I only used it overnight because I thought it would be too heavy to apply before doing my make up. 

This is not the first product I try which contains apricot oil as one of the main ingredients and thus, the effect of this cream on my skin wasn't much of a surprise. For some reason, apricot kernel oil doesn't seem to get absorbed into my skin very well. This means, that the product basically stays on my skin till I wash it of in the morning. So the only effect the product has on my skin is that I get blemishes over time because my skin can't breathe properly.

After a week of testing, I stopped using it because I could see my skin wouldn't benefit from this cream. That's why I can't give you a full review on the effects of the Apricot 24h cream. However, at the same time a colleague from work tested it and she's really happy with the product. 

The Apricot 24h Cream smells delicious and natural and has a well-thought-out packaging. It's not for my skin type but I know that some people really enjoy using it. The products can be ordered online, it's not cheap though: CHF 52 for a new airless jar and CHF 46 for a refill pot. Maybe you have to consider that the product is vegan, comes in an extra hygienic jar and is produced in Switzerland. If these factors are important to you, it might be worth spending the money. 

So what do I think about this product? Obviously, it's not the right product for me but I love the airless jar and I would really appreciate it, if other brands used jars like this one too. I know Avène has a similar packaging for some of their products, do you know any other brands? Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great day!

XX Cheryl

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Jo Malone - My First Impression on their Colognes

Jo Malone is a brand I've always been intrigued by but have been put off by the price tags on their products at the same time. I never really got the chance to test a product properly, so just imagine how happy I was when I received some of their colognes in goodie bags recently*. 

Jo Malone products come with a whole experience around them. Their shops are always absolutely gorgeous, chic and cozy at the same time and make me want to try everything. The packaging of their products is just as pretty and opening it feels like unwrapping a gift to me. Can you tell I'm excited about this?

I'd like to introduce you to this lovely little set with two 30ml bottles of Jo Malone colognes for about CHF 140. This would make such a great gift if you'd like to treat someone. By the way, 70% of the box is made from recycled material and it looks luxurious, right?

I tested Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne and Mimosa & Cardamom Cologne. I've heard a lot about the first one, lots of UK bloggers raved about this scent. On me, it smells fresh first but the scent develops quickly into a warm and rich, even spicy kind of scent. As the name suggests, it does really smell like a combination of wood and sea but the wooden note is stronger than the fresh note which makes it more of an autumnal or winter scent. 

Mimosa & Cardamom on the other hand is a floral scent with a hint of something light and sweet. The cardamom is quite obvious. On its own, I think this scent is suitable for more mature women. But Jo Malone scents can be combined, you're even encouraged to do so, that's why I combined these two and the result is a spicy and warm scent which would be perfect for Christmas. I'm having so much fun testing these scents right now! I'd highly recommend to try combining some of the scents, I find it fascinating how they change. 

What I noticed about all Jo Malone Colognes so far is that their scents are very pure and clear. This makes it easy to decide whether you like a scent or not. I really enjoy many of the lighter scents and some of the warm scents - I'm happy with the two I presented above - but there are a lot of scents that just aren't for me, such as Lime Basil & Mandarin, which by the name I thought I'd love. It's a fresh scent, the kind I usually go for, but on me it smells slightly sour - not something I enjoy. Luckily, we don't have to love every single Cologne, there's enough to choose from. In fact, Jo Malone has about 27 Colognes, if I counted correctly. If you start combining them, there are even more! 

My overall impression of the brand is very positive. Everything about it feels luxurious, from the shopping experience to the actual product. The 30ml bottles are available for CHF 69 each which isn't cheap but not insanely expensive either. I'd love to try some of their skincare products. Have you tried any? Do you have any recommendations?

Have a great day!

xx Cheryl

*yes, you guessed it right. These are press samples. As always, the opinion in this blogpost is my own and absolutely honest. 

Sunday, 2 July 2017

I love my Planet - Yves Rocher Launched an Innovative Concentrated Shower Gel

Sometimes, a beauty product can do more than live up to the sole purpose of making someone feel more beautiful. It can serve another cause which may make you feel beautiful on the inside too. I'm talking about Yves Rocher's new Concentrated Shower Gel*, which may sound mundane but if you take a closer look, it's much more than just a gel in a bottle.

Typical for Yves Rocher, the ingredients of the shower gel are all natural. What's new is the concentration of the product formulation which is four times higher than in a usual shower gel. A hazelnut size amount of the product is enough to wash your entire body. This means that a 100ml bottle of this shower gel is enough to shower 40 times. Hence, the packaging needs less plastic than a big bottle does and the amount actually used is recycled plastic. Smaller bottles and less amount of used product additionally require fewer transports and therefore the pollution can be reduced. In short, the higher concentration of the shower gel makes the whole product and its production more sustainable.

But the sustainability goes further: "I love my planet" is part of the "100 million trees" campaign by Foundation Yves Rocher. This means that Yves Rocher plants a tree for every Concentrated Shower Gel they sell because the aim of the campaign is to plant 100 million trees till 2020. I don't know about you but I'm a sucker for actions like this one, it makes me want to buy the product and start to count the trees I indirectly planted. Reducing pollution and planting trees by buying a certain shower gel? I'm in! 

The product comes in a 100ml bottle with a special lid to make dosage extra easy. A tiny amount of the product is definitely enough, I used it for a week straight and I can see now that it will last for the 40 showers the product description promises. As soon as the gel is combined with water it transforms into a creamy foam which can easily be distributed and massaged over the whole body. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smelling amazing and this is all I ask for when I'm using a shower gel.

The scent of my Concentrated Shower Gel is a mixture of mango and coriander but it's available in two other scents as well: bourbon vanilla or olive and petitgrain. I'm rather picky with fruity scents because I don't like it when they smell artificial but this one smells fresh because of the coriander, sweet, natural and just delicious. I haven't tested the other two scents yet, I usually like olive scented products so I guess that is the one I'll buy next.

The product launched in June so you should be able to pick it up at your local Yves Rocher store or online. It costs CHF 13.50, not cheap for a shower gel, but it's basically two bottles of shower gel because 100ml of the concentrate are 400ml of a normal shower gel and you're kind of buying a tree as well, right? Considering this, I think the price is fair. I really hope that this easy concept will inspire other brands to create products in a sustainable way, this product shows that a little effort can already do a lot. 

What do you think about Yves Rochers "I love my planet" campaign?

Have a great day!

xx Cheryl

*press sample, all opinions are honest and my own

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Cleansing with Estée Lauder - 3 Products to remove your Makeup

I really went out of my comfort zone here: I finally tried different products to remove my makeup and ignored my beloved Caudalie Cleansing Oil. How did that happen? First, two of the three products mentioned below were sent to me by Estée Lauder and I love to try new products. Second, I tried the balm at a blogger event and it felt absolutely amazing on the skin. Third, I ran out of my Caudalie Cleansing Oil and I already had the Estée Lauder products at home. And finally, they all look exceptionally luxurious and pretty. How could I resist? 

I'm talking about two different product lines here: two products are from the Advanced Night collection, one is Double Wear. Anyway, all three help you to remove your makeup in their own way. There's the Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam*, which shouldn't be used to remove eye makeup, the Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm and the Double Wear Long-Wear Makeup Remover Wipes. 

The Advanced Night Micro Cleansing products remove makeup and soothe the skin with lavender and camomile. 

The Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam is meant to be used on damp skin. Take a small amount and massage it into the skin. It will foam a little but not too much, just be careful not to rub it into your eyes. It costs CHF 40, not cheap but not way too expensive either. I use this product when I'm not wearing mascara, which does happen at least once a week. This easily removes all of my makeup and leaves my face clean and refreshed. The only downside is that my skin sometimes feels a tad bit dry after using it, that's how I justified buying the balm for myself, I mean, "balm" does sound more hydrating, right? 

The Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm does exactly what I asked for. It removes all of my makeup, doesn't sting my eyes and doesn't leave an oily film, so it's no problem to use it if you wear contact lenses. I often use waterproof mascara so I have to carefully massage my eyelashes to make sure all the mascara is gone, but it works. The balmy texture feels wonderful on the skin and leaves it clean and smooth. This is the product I use on day to day basis, it costs CHF 48 which I think is ok for a good cleanser and this one lasts for a while. 

Both products feel soothing on the skin and I noticed that my skin tone looks even and well balanced when I used these cleansing products. 

Estée Lauder has an option for lazy girls too: Double Wear Long-Wear Makeup Remover Wipes*. I wouldn't recommend using wipes on a daily basis to remove your makeup. I use them when I'm traveling or when I wear a lot of makeup and want to remove most of it before using the cleansing balm. But I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how effective these are. They're really soft, thick and moist and I can remove my whole makeup with two wipes! It's difficult to remove waterproof mascara and eyeliner because I don't want to rub on my eyes too much, I like to keep my eye lashes... however, it is possible to get rid of it without being too harsh on the eyes if you have a little patience. Just press the wipe onto your eyes for a few seconds and carefully wipe the product off. It's obviously not the best option to remove waterproof eye makeup but it does a decent job, that's why I love using them on the plane, they leave the skin clean, soft and fresh. At CHF 38 for 45 wipes I do think they're rather expensive. They perform really well and they're great for traveling but I'm not sure I would be okay with spending that much on face wipes. 

All in all, I'm perfectly happy with the three products. They do a good job at removing makeup and soothing my skin. I will go back to my Caudalie Cleansing Oil though. It just provides the extra bit of moisture my dry skin needs and it makes getting rid of waterproof products a bit easier.

What's your favourite cleanser?

Have a great day!

xx Cheryl

*Press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Monday, 5 June 2017

Express Your Soul by Rituals - Event Impressions and Shower Foam Review

Hello there!

If you're a fan of Rituals I'm sure you already know about the new limited edition Express Your Soul*. I've had the chance to go to my first-ever Rituals event where this collection was introduced and it was a blast! The whole set up looked amazing. There was a frozen yogurt booth, a sunbed to enjoy a virtual reality experience, a henna tattoo station, a bar - obviously ;-) and a lot more. 

Here are some impressions of the event for you:

We all got a plain white bag to spray-paint, which was really fun! 
Look at all the toppings! 
And Karma is back! Such a lovely scent <3

Rituals also launched a refreshing herbal iced tea in the Express Your Soul collection. It's a mixture of different herbs, mainly lemon verbena and curled mint and it tastes minty and fresh, it's great to hydrate during a hot day. The tea comes in triangle shaped tea bags. To prepare the tea just infuse one tea bag with tap water and leave it for about eight minutes. If you like, you may add an orange. It looks even yummier if you do!

Refreshing herbal iced tea
A part of the bar with the Instagram wall

The whole collection is beautifully designed by MadC, a german graffiti writer. The ingredients of the tea represent the scent of Express Your Soul: a fresh combination of verbena and petitgrain, an essential oil gained from the leaves and bark of the orange tree. 

I've tested the shower foam for you. If you're familiar with the Rituals shower foam you will already know that this is veeeeery foamy. One pump is enough to cover your entire body with foam and as a result look like a snow man. I absolutely love it! That's why I always have one of Rituals' shower foams in my shower. The scent of this one is - as I told you before - fresh and citrusy. It's great for the morning because it gives you the little kick you need to wake up but I have to admit that I'm not a great fan of this scent in a body lotion or a body mist, I feel like scents like this belong into the shower - or in a tea. And that's exactly what I think about the whole collection: the scrub and the shower foam are nice but the rest of the products aren't really up my street. Not because of the quality, the quality is great as always but because I don't want to smell verbena and petitgrain the whole day.

Have you tried Express Your Soul yet? I'm really interested in what you think about the new scent and it would make me really happy if you left a comment below. 

I hope you've had a great weekend and I wish you a lovely, sunny week!

xx Cheryl 

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Michael Kors - Sexy Blossom Eau de Parfum

About two months ago I've had the chance to experience a "fragrance journey" with ADF, the Estée Lauder division for a lot of designer fragrances such as Michael Kors. We've spent a great evening learning how to tell the difference between certain essences and oils which are used to create beautiful scents just like the one I'm writing about today: Michael Kors' Sexy Blossom*. 

The experience was absolutely amazing, I've learnt about ingredients and how to gain them, here's an example: There's a special rose, rosa centifolia, which is difficult to grow. The soil, the amount of light and water have to be just right. And as they bloom, they have to be picked by hand and transported to the perfume factory on the same day to get the right fragrance out of them. That's a very mundane description of the process compared to the poetic way the lovely presenter at the event described it. But I hope you got the idea. And did you know that vanilla takes 3.5 years to ripen? That's insane, right? Anyway, let's talk about Michael Kors now ;-) 

Sexy Blossom is a scent that I find very easy to like. It's fruity but also flowery and fresh at the same time. (It's officially described as a floral-woody scent but I think the fruity part is quite obvious too) The scent is light and young, you might have guessed already: a great scent for spring and summer.

In the top note are litchi and rose petals, that's where the fruity part of the scent comes from, the one you smell first. The heart note is all floral, a combination of freesia and peony among others and it has a wooden base note with musk and sandalwood. Not sure if you noticed it over the last couple of posts about perfumes but I like my wooden base notes. 

After a couple of minutes, the fruity scent is less obvious and the bloomy notes stand out. It still smells absolutely great and spreads a real summer vibe.

Sexy Blossom comes is a gorgeous pink packaging with a golden top which I find very stylish. It costs around CHF 85 for 50ml, not cheap but not an expensive scent either. How much do you usually spend on perfumes? 

Have you tried any Michael Kors fragrances? Let me know in the comments if you like this scent. 

Have a great day!

xx Cheryl

* press sample, all opinions are honest and my own.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Caudalie Vineactiv - Skincare for Busy Women

Hello there!

Yes, I'm still alive. If you're a student too, I'm pretty sure I don't have to explain to you why there hasn't been a lot of new content on the blog recently. But I'll do it anyway because it's nice to share, a problem shared is a problem halved, right? 

It's exam season, or in my case the season where everyone wants me to do a presentation and a paper on whatever project I have to do for the course. So I'm busy writing, designing and so on and it's honestly very stressful. A phase my skin doesn't like, so I thought it's the perfect time to put Caudalie's new Vineactiv skincare collection to the test because it is designed especially for young, active women with an endless to-do list. It fights the signs of fatigue and keeps the skin looking young and radiant. And I love the name of their innovative composition of ingredients: the anti cell burn-out complex! That's exactly what I need right now. It contains grape polyphenol and an antioxidant gained from spruce to help soothe stressed skin. 

The Vineactiv collection contains a glow activating anti-wrinkle serum, an energizing and smoothing eye cream, a 3-in-1 moisturizer and an overnight detox oil. I've tested the whole line for four weeks and I noticed that only using the products of this collection, my skin was slightly dehydrated after the four weeks. It will definitely be enough moisture for normal or oily skin but the dry skinned ladies might have to use a hydrating mask in between. 

The 3-in-1 moisturizer and the eye cream have a very relaxing herbal scent and they sink in really quickly and make a nice base for foundation. I've been using the eye cream around my nose and as a lip treatment over night from time to time as well. It is hydrating enough for my under eye area and the other areas I mentioned but it doesn't fight my dark circles which is kind of an issue when I don't get enough sleep. I like to use it over night but in the morning I rather use something more energizing. 

The serum is my favourite product from the collection, it has the same discreet herbal scent and feels instantly soothing on the skin. The texture is light and gel like and combined with the 3-in-1 moisturizer it's just enough for my morning routine. The only thing that bugs me is that there's still a lot of product left when the pump doesn't work anymore. 

After applying the serum I massaged my face with six drops of the Overnight Detox oil every night before going to bed. And let me warn you: the scent is not boyfriend-approved! The oil has a rather strong scent and it stays for a little while. I find it quite relaxing, however, Mr. T doesn't agree. Even though this is an oil, it sinks in completely over night and I think it is suitable for oily skin too. 

The overall effect of Vineactiv on my skin was that it didn't and doesn't look stressed even though I'm going through a stressful time right now. I usually break out during this time and my complexion looks sallow, which didn't happen using the Vineactiv collection. Nevertheless, for my dry skin I had to use a moisturizing serum before applying the oil over night, it didn't spend enough moisture on its own. An effect I couldn't see was the added glow. My skin is usually quite glowy but this skincare routine wasn't able to keep the glow up during exam season. Anyway, I think Vinosource does a good job because my skin doesn't look stressed and that's exactly what I wanted. With a moisturizing mask every week the collection and I currently live a happy life together.

The products are available in pharmacies and drugstores. Here's a little overview of the prices for you:

3-in-1 Moisturizer: CHF 42.40
Energizing and Smoothing Eye Cream: CHF 34.40
Serum: CHF 47.30
Overnight Detox Oil: CHF 39.40

Have you tried the Vineactic collection yet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a great day and if you're preparing for exams as well: good luck! You can do it!