Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Pretty Hands & Feet with Clarins Treatment Creams

Hi there!

I hope you've had the best start into 2018! Mine has been rather hectic but now I enjoy my free time even more. Sadly, the weather hasn't been the best lately, it's been stormy with heavy rain and it really didn't make a difference whether I brushed my hair in the morning or not. As soon as I went outside, my hair was a mess anyway. But that's not what I wanted to talk to you about. The cold weather or maybe the heating always makes my skin extremely dry in winter, that's why I'm testing a lot of skin care for pretty much every part of my body and I sure let you know about my experiences. Let's start with some intensive treatment today.

Legs, hands and feet are the body parts where my skin is the driest. Legs are easy to hydrate, I just do that in the evening before going to bed but hands and feed are different. Everytime I wash my hands, the hand cream is just gone and the skin feels dry again. Furthermore, I work in an office and I don't want the hand cream all over my keyboard. When it comes to feet I'm just a little weird and don't like the feeling of foot cream on them. So let's get to the point: I've been at a Clarins blogger event at the end of last year and got some beautiful products to try*. Among them the Hand and Nail Treatment Cream and the Foot Beauty Treatment Cream. 

Both products are just what I needed and I didn't even know it. As you can see on the picture above, Clarins has these funny bamboo fibre gloves and also socks for treatments at home. You can buy them in their store, the set is called Hand and Feet Kit and it can be washed in the washing machine, so you can use it all the time. Both the hand and foot treatment are rich and therefore extremely hydrating. So what I do is to apply a generous amount of the hand treatment, then put on the gloves. This way I can work while my hands get their little spa experience. Same goes for the foot treatment, however, (what a surprise) I don't use it in the office but after work at home. Just massage it from toes to ankles and put on the socks. As both products are treatments, they provide enough moisture for a while. My hands are severely dry, so I still use hand creams in the morning and the evening but the Hand and Nail Treatment makes them look and feel nice for longer and provides some protection against the cold. The foot cream keeps my feet hydrated for a few days. As I mentioned, I don't like the feeling of cream on my feet so I'm happy I don't have to use one every day. 

The products smell very nice. The hand treatment has a citrusy scent (it's a limited edition with grapefruit, there's a lemon version too), the foot treatment a herbal scent which makes them smell fresh and healthy. It contains cashew oil, shea butter, myrrh, arnica and thyme oil. The hand treatment contains sesame oil, shea butter, myrrh and mulberry extract. Both come in a 30ml tube and the hand treatment could be used as a normal hand cream as well, just don't apply as much and it sinks in pretty quickly. 

I've been using both treatments on a regular basis during December and January and I genuinely love them. They're empty soon but as they're not insanely expensive, I'm rather sure I'll repurchase them. I've never tried Clarins skin care before but after the event and after trying the first few products I'm pretty obsessed, so I guess you'll see more of Clarins on the blog soon. 

The  Hand and Nail Treatment Cream costs CHF 13 and the Foot Beauty Treatment Cream CHF 40.50 for 100ml, I couldn't find the 30ml online. There's some limited edition sets which are great value for money, so maybe keep an eye out for them if you're interested in the products. 

What are your favourite skincare products for dry winter skin? Leave a comment below!

Have a great day!
xx Cheryl

*all of the products mentioned above are pr samples. All opinions are honest and my own. 

Monday, 18 December 2017

Last Minute Beauty Christmas Gifts

Hi there!

I'm late, as every year. I didn't do my Christmas shopping yet, at least not all of it. Luckily, some lovely beauty gifts were sent to me and they're a great inspiration, so I want to share the ideas with you. First of all, I can't believe how lucky I am to get so many incredible products to test. Especially the Christmas Collections come in stunning packaging and it's like Christmas for me every time products arrive in my post box. So thanks so much to you for supporting me by reading my blog and thereby making this happen for me. 

The lovely present for a friend - Yves Rocher Marvelous Berries Kit
If you like to get your friends a little something which looks gorgeous and christmassy but maybe don't want to spend a fortune on it, Yves Rocher's got you covered this year. Their Marvelous Berries Christmas Kit is the cutest little Christmas present ever and the products smell absolutely delicious. The scent reminds me of cranberries, it's fruity but not really sweet. The kit looks like a house or maybe a lantern and it contains a lip balm, a hand cream, a shower and bath gel and a perfumed body lotion. The sizes are quite generous and it costs only CHF 14.90 which is honestly a bargain for what you get. I absolutely love this!  It's also available in white vanilla and I think I need to check that out too. 

The one for the party girl - Wet n Wild Xmas Collection
If you're on the hunt for a classy but sexy Christmas makeup look or you know a friend of yours is, you might want to check out the wet n wild Xmas Collection. I think none of the products are limited edition, the set is just kind of an inspiration for a Christmas look. There's the Lash Renegade mascara which is easy to use and separates your lashes nicely, a bold red megalast liquid catsuit matte lipstick in the shade Missy and Fierce, a glittery eye shadow called Spiked and Panther, a black eye shadow. Sadly, the products can't be purchased in the set as shown below. Anyway, the quality of wet n wild products is usually insanely good considering the products are very inexpensive so this product combo is a nice gift if you're on a budget. The mascara costs CHF 8.90, the liquid lipstick is CHF 5.90 and the eye shadows are available for CHF 2.90 each.

The one pretty much every woman will like - Caudalie gift set
I honestly felt so happy when I received this Christmas gift from Grauwiler | Testa PR and obviously Caudalie. As you might know, Caudalie is one of my absolute favourite beauty brands because the products smell lovely, the quality is beautiful and they do what I expect them to do. And if that wouldn't be enough the packaging is pretty too. Take a look at this years' Christmas presents. There's the Fleur de Vigne Candle, a lightly scented candle which is absolutely huge! I should have put something for scale on the picture but maybe you can see the dimension on the first photo in this blog post. The design is simple but elegant and it looks great in our living room. Love it!

There's a second gift from Caudalie, the Eau de Vignes gift set which comes in a gorgeously designed packaging. The scent of the products and the eau de toilette is soft and fresh and I think it's suitable for women who like the occasional little luxury but wouldn't take a bath in perfume if you know what I mean. It's quite natural and unobtrusive and I think a lot of women like this scent. The set costs CHF 29.60. By the way, Caudalie has a great selection of Christmas gifts at a reasonable price. In my opinion, the best (besides the candle above) is the set with the eau de beauté and a french kiss lip balm. Cute but very chic! 

The luxurious treat for you significant other - Illusion Captive de Lalique
And here we have a little luxury that I wanted to show you weeks ago and I think Christmas is the perfect occasion to present this. I've been to the Lalique press event, you might have seen my blogpost on "Mon premier cristal" already. In the goodie bag I also got the stunning Noir Premier Illusion Captive, a unisex perfume which I would want my male significant other to wear but I also know women who would totally love this scent. It's warm and has clear wooden notes with a fresh top note of bergamot and fig. The design of the flacon is inspired by René Laliques 1898 creation of the dragonfly brooch in the Art Nouveau style. The packaging of this perfume is mesmerizing and feels so luxurious! First you have to remove the branded sleeve to open a matte black box. Inside of this box is a heavy and shiny black box with golden details and the actual flacon lies on velvet. This is perfection! But perfection isn't cheap... so if you want to treat someone with this luxurious and stunning perfume, it's available for around CHF 300. 

And last but not least, there's always Jo Malone. Everything you buy there will look amazing because their packaging is just on point. The Christmas packaging this year is a little too colorful for my taste but their products still are so pure and elegant, I'm sure you'd find something lovely there. 

I hope you found some inspiration for Christmas gifts in this blogpost. Which one was your favourite? Do you have any tips on Christmas presents? Leave a comment below!

Have a lovely Christmas time!
xx Cheryl

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Wide Open Eyes with Estée Lauder

Wide open eyes is exactly what I need right now - something that makes everyone belief that I'm wide awake even if I'm not. I love December, it's the coziest month of the year with all the Christmas lights, candles, fluffy blankets and good food but sadly, it's the busiest month of my year because I have my exams, papers and other stuff to hand in in order to finish my masters degree at university (still have to write my master's thesis after this semester though...). Anyway, I've had the chance to test some lovely Estée Lauder products lately*, all under the motto of "wide open eyes". So let me show you a bunch of products all dedicated to make your eye area look awake and great.

At the Estée Lauder press event I learnt that the under eye area makes around 10'000 small movements during one day, which is quite stressful for this delicate part of our skin. The Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix is like a serum for your under eye area that addresses this issue. The new 360° matrix technology acts as sort of a cushion to make all those movements less stressful and to prevent irritation. The product comes with a glass applicator, which feels cool on the skin. I personally just dab the product into my skin using my ring finger. The Eye Concentrate Matrix hydrates the skin and prevents aging. I've used it everyday for over a month now and I'm very pleased with it. I usually get fine lines from dry skin in winter but so far, my under eye area is looking great. Luckily, I can't tell you a lot about the anti-aging effect, because I don't have any wrinkles around my eyes yet. And I intend to keep it that way as long as possible. This product seems like a keeper for me, my under eye area is hydrated, smooth and soft. At CHF 88.- for 15ml, it's not inexpensive but  the quality and effects are great.

If the Eye Concentrate Matrix isn't enough to make your eyes look awake, there's always other options. One of them is the Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter. This is a liquid brightening, highlighting and concealing product. I'm not an expert when it comes to highlighter but this is such an easy product to use, it's not too obvious but it lightens up the area where you apply it. Just draw a little C in the inner corner of your eyes and one around the outer corner of your eyes and lightly dab the product into the skin. This simply adds some light to your face and instantly makes you look more awake. I tried to use it as an under eye concealer as well but the shade doesn't really look right, I rather use it as a highlighter. 

And what else can we do to look more awake? Yes, Estée Lauder thought of our lashes too. I'm quite excited for this part because they launched some pretty awesome products: the Pure Color Envy Lash Collection. 

There's a black mascara (such a surprise!), the Pure Color Envy Lash Multi Effects Mascara which has special bristles to create volume and length. One side of the bristles are nylon, the other silicone. I don't have the waterproof version and this mascara smudges on me after a few hours without a primer so I used the Estée Lauder Lash Primer Plus underneath which gives even more volume. If you like a dramatic eye look, this mascara might be a winner for you. 

There's a limited edition in this collection too: You can get the mascara in blue, purple and green too. And guess what, I've got the green one! I never would have thought I might like this but I got my makeup done at the event, you might have seen the picture in my instastory. This mascara was used in the look and it made the colour of my eyes pop. There's one little issue: It's really difficult to remove. I don't know whether this has something to do with my lashes or if this is a general problem but I honestly tried four makeup removers till I managed to get it off my lashes. If you've tried it, please leave a comment with your experience below, I'm very interested in your opinion. All the mascaras cost CHF 39 each. 

Lastly, there's the perfect product for the festive season: The Crystal Lash Top Coat! Yes, it's as good as it sounds. It's glitter for your lashes. Thanks, Estée Lauder, you just made New Year's Eve so much better! Personally, this is not a product I would use on a normal day. This is definitely party make up for me. The top coat looks like a felt tip pen to apply over your mascara, it's a little strange at first but works just fine and it looks mesmerizing and glam! The Crystal Lash Top Coat is available for CHF 35. 

I hope you liked this little introduction of Estée Lauder products to make your eyes look awake. Have you tried any of the products? And do you already have a makeup look planned for Christmas?

Have a great day!

XX Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Mon Premier Cristal - Lalique's Dreamy Perfume Collection

"It's a time you take for yourself. For connecting with yourself. For experiencing beauty in everyday life... Perfume is the most intimate form of luxury. It is to make this experience of luxury even more unique, more special, that Lalique has created a new object of desire: Mon Premier Cristal Collection."

Yes, they had me at the simple description of the new Mon Premier Cristal Collection*. And oh my, this collection is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! Trying to be objective here, but look at the three flacons! 

There's a reason why Lalique always manages to catch my interest. They don't only create a product, there's always a story to accompany it. This time Lalique asked three women perfumers to recreate the scent of crystal in a perfume. And that's what Mon Premier Cristal Collection is: An interpretation of the scent of crystal in three different stages. The perfumes are intended for everyday use and I'm rather sure you'd like at least one of the three scents. Let's take a closer look:

SENSUEL Le cristal en fusion (Molten Crystal) - Karine Dubreuil-Sereni
Karine Dubreuil-Sereni created the scent of crystal in its molten state. It's a warm oriental scent with the top notes mandarin and orange, the heart notes lily of the valley, peach and heliotrope and the base notes patchouli, vanilla, white musk, tonka bean and amber. The vanilla and tonka bean are the most obvious scents and make the perfume quite sweet. It doesn't contain almond but still smells of almonds. This is because of the heliotrope- Karine aimed to create the scent of toasted almonds to symbolize the molten crystal. I personally enjoy the warmth and sweetness of this scent but I wouldn't necessarily wear it as a perfume but rather have it as a scented candle for the cold winter time. 

LUMIERE Le cristal sculpté (Sculpted Crystal) - Alexandra Monet
Alexandra Monet got the challenge to recreate the sculpted crystal as a perfume. She focused on the light reflection of the Lalique crystal sculptures and created a floral chypre scent. Until a few months ago I didn't even know that something called "chypre" existed but now I know that I seem to enjoy chypre scents because this isn't the first one I love. 

You might have guessed, this is my favourite perfume from the Mon Premier Cristal Collection. With top notes of mandarin, black saffron and bitter almond, heart notes of sambac jasmine, tuberose and licorice as well as base notes of patchouli, cashmere wood and musks Alexandra Monet created a warm and wintery scent with just the right touch of sexiness. I love wooden notes because they add so much character to a scent. Even though the heart notes are floral and I'm usually not a fan of floral scents, the combination of jasmine and tuberose totally works for me. Licorice, bitter almond and black saffron contrast the lightness of the  floral notes and symbolize the "dark side of the light". 

TENDRE Le cristal satiné (Satined Crystal) - Sidonie Lancesseur
Now we're talking powdery, soft floral oriental scent. Sidonie Lancesseur created the perfume version of satined crystal and she did a great job. The composition of scents she used is very convincing as the scent of something satined. I guess without knowing about the satined crystal my association would have been a powder puff. This looks so much less romantic written down than it sounded in my head... anyway, let's just go with it. The top notes are pear and lily of the valley. The heart notes and the most obvious ones are powdery rose, rose petals and rose essence. The base notes (or dry-down notes) are white musk and vanilla. This is an extremely soft and feminine scent and I instantly have a picture of the type of woman in my mind who could identify with this scent. I like this sophisticated scent but it doesn't match my personality, I hope you know what I mean. 

Mon Premier Cristal Collection comes in a beautifully designed bottle. The design is inspired by the symbol of the house of Lalique: the Swallow. The three bottles I have are the 100ml refill bottles and even them look stunning! 

Brace yourselves, this gem costs over CHF 700. The 100ml refills are around CHF 170 each. So if you're feeling very generous, this might be the perfect Christmas present for a loved one. I felt immensely grateful to get the chance to test these three amazing perfumes. I can already tell Lumière will be one of my go to winter scents. 

How do you choose a new perfume? Do you also feel like it has to match your personality? 

Have a wonderful day!
XX Cheryl

*I got the three refill bottles as press samples, which is extremely generous. As always, all opinions are honest and my own. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Alessandro International Majestic Me Autumn Collection

Alessandro International launched their autumn/winter nail polish collection "Majestic Me"* and I'm sharing some impressions on it today. The collection contains five new shades and a top coat and there was one particular shade which caught my eye when I first saw the collection - Monarchy Green. It's a rich and deep green which looks so chic and different. But let me show you the whole collection first:

I also received the Gelactic Top Coat and the Gelactic Nail Polish Speed Dry. I had the chance to test a Gelatic Top Coat before and for some reason, it doesn't make my nail polish last longer, but it has a glossy, gel like finish. Generally, the nail polish lasted for 2 days with the top coat, which isn't great in my opinion. 

The Gelactic Nail Polish Speed Dry on the other hand is amazing! Just spray it onto your nails after applying your nail polish and it's dry instantly. But be careful, if you add pressure to your nails, it will still leave a mark. Even after using the Speed Dry you need to be a little patient before you try to stuff your keys into your handbag and head out of the house. Sounds familiar? Yes, I did that too. Anyway, if you are careful, the applying your nail polish and leaving the house one minute later actually works. Yay! This made my life so much easier ;-)

Majestic Blue
Even though Monarchy Green was the shade I liked best just by looking at the press pictures I now like Majestic Blue best. It has a beautiful dark blue base with silver glitter, sparkly but chic at the same time. Monarchy Green is a close second, it's such an elegant colour and I love the green for autumn. 

Monarchy Green
The shades I tried last are Red Paradise and Pearly Mauve. Red Paradise is a classic red and I feel like I already have this shade in some form, it doesn't have that new and exciting look to it but it sure is a perfect shade of red if you don't own one yet. Pearly Mauve isn't really my colour, the mauve-green mix just doesn't appeal to me. 

Red Paradise and Pearly Mauve

This is not the last shade I tested but the last picture I'm showing you today, Grey Harmony in action. This was the time I quickly applied the nail polish and ran out of my flat to catch the train to a press event. I honestly haven't got a clue what that drink was but you can see my nail polish. Grey Harmony is a very unique shade. It looks kind of "greige" to me and I can see the slightest hint of green in it. It's a shade I think is stylish and ok for the office as well. I haven't seen a shade like this one and I really like it. 

The 5ml nail polishes are available for CHF 7.50 or as a Striplac for CHF 15.95. It's a pity the shades don't last too long, I love Monarchy Green, Majestic Blue and Grey Harmony and I'll wear them this autumn anyway but I'll play around with different top coats and hopefully they'll last longer. 

Which of the shades would be your first choice?

Have a great day!

XX Cheryl

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

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Mugler - Aura

Oriental, botanical and carnal - A composition of three hearts in one fragrance, that's Mugler's new scent Aura*. I do know oriental and botanical fragrances but a carnal fragrance? Sounds new to me and that's what I'm writing about today. 

The quality of the following pictures isn't the best, I took them with my phone but I really wanted to show you some impressions of the Aura event in Zurich in case you haven't seen my Instastory. Entering the event location was like a visit to a different world. Everything was green to give the room a mystic and jungly vibe. 

The tasting area
Thierry Mugler's Aura was co-created by four perfumers, a consultant and Sandrine Groslier, president of the Clarins Fragrance Group. Mugler always wanted to create a scent called Aura, for him, Aura is instinct. That's why the whole event was based on little activities where you needed your instinct, or intuition. For example we had to drink three little glasses of an unknown liquid (it was syrup ;-)) and guess the flavour. Each of three glasses contained a syrup flavoured similar to the three notes of the perfume. 

As I mentioned, the scent has three hearts, each a composition of different essences. Tiger liana, a Chinese medical plant, is the oriental base note or the heart of instinct. The botanical heart is a composition of rhubarb leaf and orange blossom and the carnal or animal heart contains the pod of bourbon vanilla and wolfwood, which smells a bit like wood. Aura smells warm, slightly sweet, green and it has a rough wooden note which might be best described as "animalistic". It's not a light fragrance, whenever I wear it at least one person comments on it and so far, everyone asked about the name of the scent and loved it. I wouldn't wear it on a hot summer day but it smells honestly addictive and kind of sexy.  

Mugler has a source of their perfumes in some selected stores. The source is a large container of the fragrance where you can refill your flacon. The source doesn't only look cool, it's a sustainable way of repurchasing your everyday fragrance as well. Over the years around 50 million flacons have been refilled at the Mugler sources. That's 50 million perfume bottles less to produce and to recycle, which is great! 

The beautiful heart shaped 30 ml flacon is available for CHF 79.90.

Have you tried Aura yet? 

Have a great day!
XX Cheryl

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

Monday, 2 October 2017

Introducing Dr. Bronner's

If you're from abroad you might have heard of Dr. Bronner's products already but I haven't seen them in Switzerland until a few months ago so I was excited to get the chance to put some products to the test*.

Dr. Bronner's is an all natural brand, their products are organic and don't contain chemicals.  I've tested their Organic Magic Balm, the 18-in-One Pure Castile Soap and the Organic Hand and Body Lotion. 

Just a little bit about the brand before I get into describing the three products in detail: Dr. Bronner's been founded in 1948 in the US by Emanuel Bronner. His vision was that everyone should live happily together, a message he wanted to spread with his products too: "We are all one or none" and there's no exception. The packaging of all his products are printed with different messages like this one. It looks cool and it's inspiring too but I had to ask the PR agency about the story behind this first because without knowing about his vision the info on the packaging was a bit too much. Some of the text on there has a link to religious content as well which is unusual for a beauty product and therefore made me wonder but the quotes are out of different religions and it's all about harmony which leads us back to the message and the vision he wants to spread: "We are all one or none". If you're interested in learning more about the principles of the brand, make sure to visit the Dr. Bronner's website, the communication of the brand seems very transparent to me.

I personally love a fresh and minty smelling body product and the Arnica-Menthol Organic Magic Balm smells simply amazing! I used the product after sport because it has a great warming effect on the skin and muscles. It's hard to tell whether my muscles are less sore after using this but I sure find it very relaxing and pleasant. Because of the scent and the warmth of the balm I guess it would be great to apply onto the chest when you're having a cold. 

CHF 15.90
Oh look, there's another mint-scented product! If you don't like mint, you should definitely chose a different scent here because this is rather strong. Not too strong for me because I enjoy smelling like mint candy before sleep but - I already said it here - I use the Peppermint Hand and Body Lotion before I go to bed. I love scented products but for daytime I rather smell of my perfume than of my body lotion. Anyway, this has a very light texture but still manages to hydrate the skin quite well. I wouldn't say it's the best choice if you have severely dry skin so for winter it might not be rich enough for me. 

CHF 18.00
Last but not least, the allrounder 18-in-One Pure Castile Soap with orange and citrus scent. Why 18 in one? Because you can literally use this product for 18 different purposes. Even though I've had this product for about three months now, I didn't manage to test every single way of using it. But here they are, the 18 ways to use the Pure Castile Soap:

1. Face wash                        10. Deodorant
2. Shower Gel                     11. Inhalation
3. Shampoo                         12. Animal wash
4. Bath additive                  13. Washing up liquid
5. Footbath                          14. Laundry detergent
6. Baby bath                        15. Floor cleaner
7. Shaving Gel                     16. to wash vegetables 
8. Toothpaste                      17. plant protection
9. Mouthwash                     18. Brush cleanser

Well, I've used it to wash my face, the rest of my body as well as my hair, used it as a bath additive, deodorant, plant protection and as a brush cleanser. I wasn't very happy with it when I used it as a shampoo (made my hair look like a tangly mess) and I much prefer my normal deodorant but it does a good job as a shower gel and an even better one as a brush cleanser. It manages to wash all the makeup out of my foundation brushes so they actually look and feel clean again. And they smell citrusy fresh which can't be a bad thing either. 

CHF 12.00
The Pure Castile Soap contains coconut and palm oil, olive and jojoba oil and hemp oil. All fair-trade and organic, as I mentioned in the introduction. Nevertheless, the soap doesn't make my skin feel more hydrated. Can't really complain about that, it's soap, removing oil is something a soap usually does so considering this, it's quite surprising I can use it as a shower gel. You just need to keep in mind that this is mainly a soap, you most certainly will feel squeaky clean after using it as a shower gel but it doesn't have any hydrating benefits that other shower gels sometimes have. 

So what's the verdict? I experienced Dr. Bronner's as a brand with a great concept producing solid basic products with lovely and relaxing scents. The products aren't a luxury treat but if you're on holiday, the 18-in-One Pure Castile Soap might come in handy. 

What do you think about Dr. Bronner's?

You might have noticed that I put the prices underneath each product in the picture. I'm not sure if I like that yet. Let me know in the comments below if you think this is a good way to communicate the prices or if you preferred the old way - mentioning them as the final thing in each blog post. 

Have a great day!

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