17 October 2014

MY CURRENT EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE

 photo evening-skincare-routine-philosophy-garnier-estee-lauder-kiehls-lush-2_zps24e7f1f6.jpg

Long overdue after showing you my morning skincare routine last Spring, but still relevant: my current evening skincare routine! When I arrived in the North, my skin suffered from dehydration and blemishes for a while. I had to change some of the products I used to bring back the moisture my skin would lack in this colder climate (and not just my face - body butter is my best friend here!). I've been sticking to this routine for a month and a half now and I must say my skin is thanking me for it.

CLEANSER- First I soak a cotton pad with micellar water and run it all over my face to remove my makeup. I have been using Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water for a few weeks now and so far so good. It doesn't irritate my skin or eyes and seems to remove makeup well. Sometimes I'll use a separate oil-based eye makeup remover by Yves Rocher if I'm wearing a lot of eye makeup. It's one of my favourites, I've been repurchasing it for over 6 years. After the micellar water, I wash my face with the Purity Made Simple facial cleanser by Philosophy. I wrote a full review on this product, which you can read *here*.

TONER- My skin is now properly cleansed. I like to spray some Tea Tree Water by Lush after cleansing because it feels refreshing.

MOISTURIZER- Depending on how dry my skin feels that day, I will then apply a moisturizer. My current favourite is La Roche-Posay Hydréane Légère (*full review here*). The lighter version is fine to use in the evening as it doesn't feel heavy on the skin, but unfortunately it isn't moisturizing enough for the daytime anymore. (not pictured because I just used it up.)

TREATMENTS- My skin has been loving face oils lately so that is the last step in my skincare routine. Where I would use the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (*full review here*) once or twice a week in the Spring season, I've now switched to using it daily. It's hydrating and keeps my skin from feeling tight or looking dull. A great positive change since the last time I wrote about it: The MRC doesn't irritate my skin anymore! Last is a sample-sized bottle of the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II. I keep this serum for nights when I've worn a lot of makeup and I want to give my skin a boost. I also just like it because it feels so luxurious - I must say that's a guilty pleasure I enjoy very much. I'm actually impressed with how long this tiny bottle lasts. When I use the ANR I skip the moisturizer, because this serum is very nourishing on its own.

Do you use different skincare products in Summer and Autumn/Winter?

10 October 2014

SOME MONOCHROME A/W OUTFIT INSPIRATION

Autumn is probably my favourite season. Sure it's not about the weather - Autumn in Belgium is usually rain, rain and more rain, which is kind of depressing. - but it's hard to dwell on that when the streets are colourful and it's finally cold enough to snuggle up in your favourite sweater or hide under a blanket with a cup of hot tea after a long day. There is something about autumn that screams 'just relax'.

Around this time of the year I am always excited to pick outfits. I'm sure 1/4 of my wardrobe is meant for when it gets colder. When I came to Finland I brought a wide selection of warm clothing so I could mix and match.

That's why I want to show you some of my favourite outfits of the moment. I'm all about wearing black these days - well, when am I not, maybe that's the real question. Hopefully I can find the time to take outfit pictures soon so you can see the outfits in action too :-) fingers crossed it'll happen.

#31  

First is an outfit I wear when it's not too cold outside. My outfits have to be comfy no matter what, so I just pair some black skinny jeans with a knit jumper. I also like to wear my leather jacket. Leather jackets are great because they are wind-proof, but they're still stylish. For shoes I've been loving my new burgundy Vans. The thick sole helps to keep my feet warm on the cold ground and again these are just super comfy. I top it off with a chunky scarf, a hat and some jewelry.


#32
more details: ppandora on polyvore


Another favourite of mine is the parka coat. Needless to say I wear it all the time during autumn and winter, again paired with some skinny jeans and possibly a flannel shirt. I bought a new flannel shirt from H&M last week; the fabric is soft and warm, perfect for this time of the year. Boots are necessary on cold winter days so I'll be wearing those often. The boots I have aren't as cool as these ones, unfortunately! Finally, for makeup I like to keep things simple, as usual. I focus on perfecting my foundation and keep the rest neutral. But I will be showing you my makeup routine in detail later so keep your eyes peeled for that!

What's your favourite thing to wear in autumn?

3 October 2014

A CAREFREE BASE WITH URBAN DECAY

 photo urban-decay-all-nighter-setting-spray_zps30ab41b3.jpg

Carefree, eh? I may be biased about this white-and-purple bottle you see here, but for months - and especially when the summer heat kicked in - I was struggling to set my foundation and have it last all day or night. If I had spent thirty minutes perfecting application, then parts of it would have slipped off somewhere in the next two hours. Nothing helped.

Enter Urban Decay and their All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. The description of this spray is impressive, but what it basically does is 'lock in' makeup to last longer. Its formula was specially invented so makeup would stay in place even under extreme heat, heavy rainfall or other severe weather conditions. The All Nighter spray forms a waterproof layer on top of your makeup to protect it from moving or slipping off.

Here's a short anecdote to demonstrate how much I like the All Nighter spray. I put it to the test when I went to a festival the day after I bought it. My makeup stayed put from 8 AM when I left the house until 3 AM the next morning, even after being in a heavy rain shower and an after-party in a tent full of sweaty people (sorry for the deetz). Obviously my face didn’t look as fresh as it did when I’d just applied the products, but everything was still there! I was probably lucky for not having to touch up my makeup once that day, nonetheless it's safe to say the All Nighter spray is an essential step in my makeup routine now. I don't have to worry about my foundation moving when I've used this.

Thanks again to the people who suggested going to Urban Decay for a good setting spray!

25 September 2014

LIFE IN JOENSUU: A FIRST IMPRESSION OF FINLAND

 photo modest-mix-finland-joensuu-1_zpsba1ce884.jpg

I can't believe October is right around the corner already. The end of September means I've been in Finland for a whole month. Time flies! Because I want to share this experience with any of you who are interested and because it'll be fun for me to read this again in a few months, I've decided to (try and) write monthly updates about my stay in Joensuu.

So what have I been up to? The first two weeks were mainly about arranging things for the flat - getting stuff for the kitchen and bedroom, yes I even had to buy curtains! - and I had to make sure all the paperwork was done and organized. But besides having to take care of everything 'official', I've had plenty of time for activities. There are lots of student organizations in Joensuu, so there's always something to do here and it's a fun way of meeting new people. It's actually treated me well to be out so often since I got here. I also booked my trip to Lapland in December! Exciting!

I've been liking the new environment a lot. Even though Joensuu is technically a city, it's never crowded with people. The architecture and arrangement of the streets and area in Joensuu remind me of American towns (let's just ignore the fact that I haven't been to the US) - wide streets, small blocks with a few buildings or a park, and generally just a lot of open space. Oh, and a lot of nature. The atmosphere is so peaceful in Joensuu. It's something you get used to quickly.

 photo finland-ice-hockey-joensuu_zps55d9ccfc.jpg

A few thoughts I gathered during my first month here:
s My first impression of the Finnish language is that it is made out of a lot of grammar combined into long words. Finns sure like to use long compounds.
s So far I've learnt that 'kiitos' means 'thanks' and people greet each other by saying 'hei hei' or 'moi' (which is an informal way of saying hello).
s Finns sure love their sports. On Sundays you'll see tons of people hiking, jogging, riding the bike, etc. I get it, though, they're making the most out of the great weather before it gets too cold! The ice hockey season has also kicked off in Finland last week. We went to see the local team's first game (pictured above).
s The stereotype is that Finns are shy and introvert. However, I have been feeling so welcome here. Finns are helpful and super friendly. Even in public transport passengers will say thanks to the bus driver most of the time. In Belgium that's rare. (Us Belgians are grumpy, so it seems).
s I have seen more squirrels here in the past 4 weeks than I have seen after 21 years of living in Belgium. True story.
s Also, as I'm writing this it is snowing. Wait, what!? Snow in September? On one hand I am excited because SNOW, but on the other hand I dread the extremely cold temperatures that are to be expected in a few weeks or months. Good thing I brought some extra pairs of socks, eh.

What's been your favourite thing in September?